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A leading scientist on aging says there is no magic pill for staying young—yet

Reuters/Peter MacDiarmid
It’s complicated.

At the second annual Undoing Aging conference in Berlin last month, the who’s who of aging and radical life extension—immortalists, biotech CEOs, venture capitalists, and longevity “insiders” (e.g. doctors, scientists, students, activists, and biohackers)—packed into a cramped, multi-story warehouse that hinted of a previous life as a nightclub.

The conference focused on the science and business of life extension, but with celebrity immortalist Aubrey de Grey as host, there was a fair amount of talk about living forever.

One overhears a lot at an aging conference, especially when its attendees run the gamut from Harvard academics to radical anti-death warriors (and it serves catering wine at 4:30 pm every day). Words like inflammation and joints were tossed about with as much verve as immortality and snake oil. That said, there was one word that seemed to be tip of tongue for everyone: senolytics, otherwise known as the first drugs designed for the express purpose of fighting aging.

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