Experts say they are now within touching distance of making a huge stride towards being able to live forever thanks to a number of innovations. Dubbed “biohacking,” the controversial pursuit for longevity aims to make small changes and enhancements to the body’s functionality to combat the process of ageing. Dave Asprey is the author of ‘Super Human: The Bulletproof Plan to Age Backward and Maybe Even Live Forever’ and he spoke to BBC Reel about the current revolution.
He said: “I fully expect, and this is not a made up number, to live to at least 180 years old, unless something like a tree falling on me takes me out.
“A lot of people ask ‘can we really hack the ageing process?’
“We are now on the cusp with literally about 50 innovations to control the biology of ageing coming online all at the same time.
“I have 100 percent certainty that, within a few years, our new innovations that come in will happen faster than our ageing.”
Mr Asprey suffered several symptoms of ageing as a young man, which sparked a life-long burning desire to grow younger with each birthday.
He has now taken part in several DIY biology experiments to test the feasibility of them.
And he is not alone in the pursuit.
Professor Dame Linda Partridge is a geneticist and the founding Director of the Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing in Cologne.
She said: “I think one of the really big surprises that have come along about ageing is how malleable it is, especially in animals.
He agrees that researchers are about to make a huge step forward in reversing the process.
He said: “As the science of ageing and longevity becomes more advanced, we’re learning how to not just slow down the effects of ageing, but truly reverse many aspects of it.
“We believe the cells in our body have youthful information when we are born and over time they lose that information.
“We’ve discovered that there’s information in the cell to reset the system in the way you could reboot a computer with fresh software.
“We recently reprogrammed the eyes of a mouse to get their young vision back.
“It’s just the beginning, I believe, of being able to turn the clock back to make younger tissues in the body.”
But biohacking has received criticism and sparked controversy in the same way genetic engineering has for years.
Pat Mooney, executive director of ETC Group, is a critic of biohacking who argues that – using a laptop computer, published gene sequence information, and mail-order synthetic DNA – anyone has the potential to construct genes or entire genomes from scratch.
A 2007 ETC Group report warned that the danger of this development is not just bio-terror, but “bio-error”.
In the US, the FBI Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate has worked with the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity to convene a series of meetings to discuss biosecurity.
While no projects to date have involved harmful agents, the fear remains in the minds of both regulators and governments.
However many argue that, while an individual could conceivably do harm with sufficient skill and intent, there exist biology labs throughout the world with greater access to the technology, skill and funding to accomplish a bioweapons project already.