Contemplating Longevity Part 4: Mechanistic Theories of Aging

At the time of this writing, COVID-19 has the globe in a state of uncertainty as the virus spreads and we await a treatment.

But there is another condition that is 100% fatal that also has no known cure (yet). Aging.

For the community of scientists who view aging as a disease, a lot of the focus is on the pieces and parts that make us who we are.

To date, there has not been a discovery singular item that explicitly causes or delays aging. The thing is, it seems to be a bit of a game of whack a mole.

  1. Scientist will find something that looks a cause of aging. 
  2. Then they try to interrupt that thing and see what happens. 
  3. Maybe they stop the phenomena successfully, but aging still continues. Or aging may slow in some cases but not others.
  4. Go back to 1.
What sort of things have they found along the way? How well do we understand our machinery?

A Longevity Virus?

As an intermission to all the COVID-19 news, let's take a moment to consider the beneficial role of viruses in our longevity.

In the movie The Matrix Agent Smith calls humanity a virus.

He might have been more accurate to say humanity wouldn't be the same without viruses.