Re: boldest endeavor

From: Michael S. Lorrey (
Date: Wed Mar 29 2000 - 09:02:44 MST

Esther Dyson wrote:

> There's a big difference between health and longevity - both as goals and in
> the implementation.....and who sees the primary benefits. health for all?
> longevity for a few?

While I understand that natural longevity has a strong genetic component, it seems to
run in families, I'm not sure what else you are getting at. I was under the
impression that healthy living for the most part tends has an impact, though the
yardstick you use is important, for example, cardiovascular fitness is more important
than actual height/weight ratios or percentage of body fat.

I think that since longevity does tend to run in families, that finding longevity
genes be a primary project, to develop a 'longevity pill' that allows the patient to
'infect' themselves with a virus that rewrites their own longevity genes for maximum
performance. Since the concern you have that such treatment would be reserved to a
few implies that it will be expensive, I have to disagree with you here. Medical
treatments that are expensive are that way because they cannot be mass produced, or
that their potential pool of users is so small that the per dose R&D cost is 95%+ of
the dose price. With longevity genediting treatment, you have a patient pool of 6
billion people, so the R&D is spread over the largest market size possible. Longevity
treatment should be as cheap as smallpox or polio vaccines.

Mike Lorrey

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