The Death-Defying Feats of Aubrey De Grey
Ever since self-awareness kicked in and Neanderthal man began to wonder just why his cave mate was lying in the corner surrounded by flies and beginning to whiff, rather than off hunting mammoths as normal, man has wondered why he can’t have life everlasting. The quest for living forever began as soon as humanity realised it didn’t and couldn’t.
Today most people treat this as a subject for idle speculation, a “what-if” scenario, akin to “which superpower would you have?” A brief appraisal of current research into preventing aging, though, may make you realise that living for hundreds of years may not be quite as farfetched as it first appears.
One name dominates the field in terms of massively extending the human lifespan—Aubrey De Grey. A laid-back, charming fellow with a beard down to his waist and a glint in his eye, I met with him on a beautiful frosty morning in his hometown of Cambridge, England. I was here to discuss his ideas and, in particular, his claim that the first human being to live to be 1,000 years old may be alive right now. First, though, he wants to make a point.