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Health Implications of Emerging Biotechnologies

E-Newsletter No. 84

Health Implications of Emerging Biotechnologies

ABSTRACT

Caloric restriction mimetics (CRMs) are emerging biotechnologies that promise to substantially enhance human lifespan.  CRMs like resveratrol, metformin and rapamycin have been extensively tested in animals and have undergone clinical trials in humans, with positive indications for extended lifespan. The imminent availability of interventions that substantially increase lifespan creates an urgent need
for informed individual and policy decisions.

As a step in this direction I focus on whether life extension by CRMs would make a personís life better. One of the greatest fears in this regard is that lifespan augmenting technologies would result in a prolonged old age, and an extended period spent in intolerably poor health. I argue that that CRMs are likely to increase both the quantity and quality of life, since they slow ageing and postpone the onset of age-related disease.

KEYWORDS: life extension; enhancement; welfare; well-being; quality of life; caloric restriction; calorie restriction mimetic; ethics; health
implications; healthspan

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