Published online Aug 12, 2015. doi: 10.5528/wjtm.v4.i2.51
Peer-review started: March 25, 2015
First decision: April 27, 2015
Revised: May 1, 2015
Accepted: June 15, 2015
Article in press: June 16, 2015
Published online: August 12, 2015
Although the use of biomedical technologies against ageing (rejuvenation biotechnologies) is considered by many as an effective way of controlling all age-related degeneration, in reality this belief cannot be justified. The human body is notoriously resistant to external perturbations and can respond in unpredictable or undesirable ways. Basic concepts of science, evolution and disease must also be considered. In this paper, I discuss some relevant problems associated with the application of any putative rejuvenation biotechnologies such as stem cell therapies, genetic engineering, tissue manipulation, as well as pharmacological approaches. I conclude that these and other biotechnologies will not be applicable to humans in the community. This is due to a wide spectrum of problems and obstacles, such as unpredictable therapeutic results, unrealistic expectations, lack of infrastructure, cellular network disruption, and many more. Even if some such technologies are developed, the totality of the problems, issues and side effects will prove an insurmountable final hurdle, rendering the development of such therapies, essentially and practically useless.
Core tip: Those who rely on biomedical technologies in order to achieve rejuvenation (global reduction of age-related degeneration) are bound to be disappointed. Such a reductionist approach will not have an impact on reducing mortality as a function of age. This is due to problems and obstacles associated with human nature, which are much more complicated than hitherto recognised. The use of biomedical rejuvenation technologies in radically reducing the impact of ageing is conceptually naive, scientifically reductionist, technologically unfeasible, and medically undeliverable.