How many years do you hope to live?

Jose A. Vidal
Published in
4 min readDec 28, 2023


Well, we are already finishing another year, 2023, and moving on to the next one. Something as normal as getting older has become a growing area of R&D in recent years.

The aging industry continues to make investments so that aging can be considered a disease itself rather than a natural and inevitable process associated with the passage of time.

We have several examples:

Calico (California Life Company): Calico is a company backed by Alphabet Inc. (Google’s parent company) that focuses on research on aging and age-related diseases. They have established collaborations with various institutions and scientists to address these issues.

Sens Research Foundation: Founded by Aubrey de Grey, the Sens Research Foundation focuses on strategies to prevent and reverse aging. They concentrate on repairing cellular and molecular damage accumulated over time.

Harvard Anti-Aging Research: Harvard has been involved in various aging research projects. David Sinclair, a genetics professor at Harvard Medical School, is known for his contributions to the field of aging biology.

Buck Institute for Aging Research: The Buck Institute is an independent research organization dedicated to studying the mechanisms of aging. They collaborate with various academic institutions and companies.

Unity Biotechnology: Unity Biotechnology focuses on developing treatments for age-related diseases by addressing cellular senescence, a phenomenon associated with aging.

Human Longevity Inc.: Founded by Craig Venter, Human Longevity Inc. aims to use genomics and other advanced technologies to extend healthy life and improve healthcare related with aging.

These are just a few of the initiatives, and many more could be listed.

The perspective of considering aging as a disease is based on the idea that many health problems and the decline in physical and cognitive function associated with aging could be more effectively addressed and treated if treated as a pathology rather than simply accepting them as part of the normal aging process.

Picture: Nicolas Aznárez.

As we have seen before, advocates of this perspective call for research and development of therapies that can slow down or reverse the aging process. These approaches include genetic interventions, medications, and lifestyle changes aimed at improving health and longevity.

It is important to note that this perspective is not without controversy, and most experts still consider aging as a natural process. The definition of what constitutes a disease and how it is addressed in the medical field may vary, and this issue continues to be debated in the scientific and ethical community.

Similarly, we must not forget all the challenges that the possibility of significantly extended longevity poses, including various social and ethical challenges that need to be considered. Some of these challenges include economic sustainability, healthcare resources, socioeconomic inequalities, demographic changes, ethical and existential issues, and environmental impact.

It is important to address these challenges ethically and equitably, considering not only the extension of longevity but also the quality of life, equal access to opportunities and services, and the overall impact on society.

But let’s return to the present. Last March 2023, in a paper signed by David McCarthy and Po Ling Wang, the authors reflect, “we find that cohorts born between approximately 1900 and 1950 are experiencing historically unprecedented mortality delays but are still too young to break longevity records. As these cohorts reach advanced ages in the coming decades, longevity records could significantly increase. Our results confirm previous research suggesting that if there is a maximum limit to human life span, we haven´t reached it yet.”

Finally declaring aging as a disease is one of the bold bets for 2024. In the Suma Positiva #182 by Samuel Gil, researcher Salvador Macip states in an-interview, “The first person who is going to take an anti-aging pill was already born.”

While we await developments and since we are fortunate to live in the best time in history regarding access to information, you can check who the 100 oldest (verified) people in history are, where 5 of them are alive, including the Spanish Maria Branyas Morera, 116 years old, who is close to breaking the world record for verified longevity.

In some interviews, Maria has mentioned the intense social life she leads, thus avoiding another pandemic: unwanted loneliness. The problems that can arise from this drama not only have mental consequences, as one would expect, but also have physical effects, as revealed in a study published in Aging-US, which concluded that being alone and unhappy accelerates aging more than smoking.

So, I cannot end the last post of 2023 without wishing health and joy for all those who have been reading these lines to the end.

Source Pic: Nicolas Aznárez.

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Jose A. Vidal