Although not as well-publicized as it deserved, the just concluded Bay Area Science Festival offered many opportunities to learn about cutting-edge scientific issues in relaxed settings. North Bay locations included Sonoma State University, Dominican University of California and Infineon Raceway.
With a friend I went to another site, the Buck Institute for Research of Aging in Novato. Its “Wonder Dialogue” explored aging and regenerative medicine. In addition to the top-notch caliber of the three scientists on-stage making their presentations, it was very much appreciated that a dialogue was what truly occurred, expertly moderated by Buck Institute for Research on Aging President and CEO – Brian K. Kennedy, PhD.
We learned about the latest worm research, together with human stem and senescent cells investigations, which may provide therapeutic treatments for many diseases, including senile dementia such as Alzheimer’s type. When ready for clinical use, healthspan (a longer life that’s also healthier) improvements could be significant.
The United Nations has estimated that there are now seven billion people on our planet, having increased from less than three billion only about fifty years ago. National Geographic has been reporting on this startling statistic throughout the year and it’s projected that by 2045 global population will reach nine billion.
Increased healthspan is a worthy goal, with its potential for enriching many lives. However, will it be possible to extend longevity for people from 80 to 100 while still helping to assure that people can also have better health from birth to 80? Allocating scarce scientific and financial resources as we balance these worthwhile goals will undoubtedly involve ethical and moral dilemmas which must be considered by society, the sooner the better.