How 1,000-year lifespans could remake the economy

Aging, according to de Grey, is essentially the lifelong accumulation of molecular and cellular damage throughout the body. Using stem cells, hormone therapies, anti-aging drugs, and more exotic techniques such as body-part replacement or even cloning, de Grey says doctors will soon be able to fix those problems before they can kill you. “The idea is to engage in what you might call preventative geriatrics,” he says, “where you go in to periodically repair that molecular and cellular damage.”

Much of the current research in the field is looking at organisms that are seemingly immune to aging, such as turtles, lobsters, hydras, and others, and looking at how these effects could be replicated in humans. If scientists can prevent aging completely, then 1,000-year lifespans and beyond — where people only die from injuries — could become commonplace.

We already expend much brain power analyzing and discussing the potential ramifications of possible-but-improbable events: catastrophic Asteroid impacts, actually building the Death Star, or even congressional Republicans compromising with Democrats. So why not also consider the consequences of a society that has conquered aging?