Longevity explained

by Sergey Young

Longevity Revolution. Augmented Humans

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March 19, 2021

Recently, consulting firm Ernst & Young released an article about how automation and augmentation trends will influence life in 2021. Human augmentation consists of efforts to alter the human body in order to improve it physically or psychologically. This might sound like something from a sci-fi movie—as writer Alexandre Gonfalonieri of The Startup noted—but it will become a reality sooner than we think.

Understandably, this trend has some of us a bit nervous. Augmenting ourselves raises important ethical questions and what it means to be human. But it also represents something extremely promising: Yet another sign we are on the verge of living longer, better lives than ever before. 

In recent months, I’ve outlined some markers of this new paradigm, which I call the Longevity Revolution. Human augmentation exists in the overlap of healthcare and technology, just like personalized medicine and big tech’s investments in the healthcare space, as I’ve covered in previous pieces. In her 2019 article, Hannah Chia noted: “In an era of augmented longevity, aging may no longer be the inexorable final phase of human life.”

With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at what, precisely, this “augmented longevity” era will look like. I’ll zoom in on three types of human augmentation that show tremendous promise, and which will play a leading role in the longevity revolution that is just around the corner.

Gene engineering

If you’ve heard of CRISPR, you’ve heard of one of the most promising gene-editing tools available to scientists. Generally speaking, gene editing means disabling a bad gene or inserting a good one that’s missing, one which could suppress aging and cure congenital diseases. When done properly and ethically, gene editing provides a highly sophisticated defense against disease and premature death—helping us live longer.

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