In this health video learn about three ways doctors say human life could be radically extended.
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Jennifer Matthews: 80, 90 100 how long do you want to live? Could you live forever? Ray Kurzweil: Its hard to talk about forever, but we can really talk about repairing all the things that go wrong with our bodies and going indefinitely Jennifer Matthews: Right now, life expectancy is 75 for men, 80 years for women . One of the best known futurists in the world, Ray Kurzweil, believes one day, not too far off in the future, humans could live to be 300, even 400 years old. Ray Kurzweil : The ideas of the sands of time running out will reverse itself in about 15 years. Jennifer Matthews: In the last 10 years, experts say advancements in medicine have added three months a year to our life expectancy. Because of the biotechnology revolution, 10 years from now, Kurzweil believes well be adding a year to our life for every year we live. Ray Kurzweil: Were making exponential gains in developing, really targeting therapies to really stop these aging processes, and they'll be a thousand times more capable 10 years from now. It really will be a different world. Jennifer Matthews: Kurzweil believes there are three bridges to radical life extension. First, what you can do today to live longer. Ray Kurzweil: The goal of that is not to live hundreds of years, but just to get me and my baby boomer peers and everyone else in good shape to a point, only 10 or 15 years from now, when well have a much more mature phase of this biotechnology revolution. Jennifer Matthews: The second bridge to cross: reprogramming our bodies to live longer and healthier. Ray Kurzweil: With very powerful, targeted pharmaceuticals that will really reprogram our biology away from disease and aging. Jennifer Matthews: Researchers have already cured Type-1 diabetes in rats with a device so small you cant even see it. It releases insulin 24/7. Ray Kurzweil: Well really be able to repair at the cellular, molecular level anything that goes wrong before it manifests itself as a noticeable problem. Jennifer Matthews: And the third bridge: nanotechnology. Ray Kurzweil: Nanotechnology, where we can have, for example, little nanorobots in our blood stream that go inside and keep us healthy from the inside. Jennifer Matthews: Scientists at MIT are testing a robot as small as a blood cell that can destroy cancer before it becomes a tumor. In 20 years, Kurzweil believes that this will be a reality. Right now, at least 50 experiments are already underway. Ray Kurzweil: That will really enable us to repair, all the different things that go wrong, engineer around these various limits when people say you are absolute which is not absolute. Jennifer Matthews: But even with this new technology, not everyone agrees immortality is an option. David Sinclair: From this point, trying to expand life span indefinitely shouldn't really occupy our time. I think its something not yet achievable and its merely science fiction. Thomas Perls: The notion that we have the cellular machinery, the genetic machinery that allows us to just live forever without the consequences of any kind of metabolic toxin, I think is ridiculous. Jennifer Matthews: Boston University professor Thomas Perls says aging is all about your environment and your genes. Thomas Perls: In order to get to older age in good health, we already know the tricks, and those tricks are not being fat, not smoking, regular exercise, managing your stress well and, I would also say, staying away from the anti-aging quackery Jennifer Matthews: Although he does believe that humans are capable of living longer, do we have the discipline? Thomas Perls: I think we should all try to live to our mid-hundreds, and that would entail very good health behaviors. Do I think people will get there? Absolutely not. Jennifer Matthews: But Kurzweil is still convinced in the next 20 years, we will be able to recondition ourselves and take the first steps towards immortality. Ray Kurzweil:: In todays world, I think we really want to live longer, because theres