Why Should We Try to Stop Aging?

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New research suggests scientists may be able to do what the billion-dollar beauty industry has lied about since forever--slow or reverse the aging process. These discoveries might prevent body decay and dreaded wrinkles, but, as the BBC's Neil Bowdler points out, there could be downsides, too. For example: won't it make a future Social Security shortfall even worse?

Recently, cancer researchers in Boston made old mice young again by manipulating enzymes involved in cellular reproduction. Other researchers found that a chemical in red win can trick a fat body into thinking it's thin (a calorie-restricted diet slows the aging process).

"But should we be experimenting with something so fundamental as ageing in the first place?" Bowdler asks. One academic says the research could create yet another divide between the haves and the have-nots: "Will everybody be able to get this technology which will give them a longer healthier life, or will it be restricted to the rich and wealthy?" Professor Tim Spector, of King's College London, asked Bowdler. "Or how will the poorer countries regard the richer countries of the world where everyone is living well and living longer?"

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.