The headline on the front page of the weekend Financial Review of February 27 was irresistible: “The race to beat ageing – it’s not a matter of if but when.” The article featured a new book The Telomerase Revolution by Prof. Michael Fossel, a professor at Stanford University. The book is subtitled “The enzyme that holds the key to human ageing … And will soon lead to longer, healthier lives.”
I ordered the book from Booktopia the day I read the article, and it was in my hands within 48 hours. It’s a fascinating read and I highly recommend it. A telomere sits at the end of your chromosomes, and Fossel’s research has discovered that the telomere shortens with age. He now claims to have discovered a procedure for lengthening the telomere, which has the potential to reverse the ageing process.
In fact, he claims that in the foreseeable future – maybe 10 years away – we will be able to go to a hospital, spend half an hour on a drip and have our telomeres lengthened. According to the book the procedure may last for 10 years, after which we can come back and do it again.
Australia’s 2015 Intergenerational Report claims that within 40 years the life expectancy for a male in Australia will be 96 and for a female 97. As I have said repeatedly, these estimates take no account of the medical advances that will certainly take place in that time.