So, I am unqualified to answer this – but…..
Whilst I am not a scientist and have never formally studied any suitably related area to properly comment on ageing, I have done a fair bit of reading and tried to pull together the headlines from the experts, so I can at least understand for myself what the possibilities are, as well as the challenges.
What have I learned?
It seems science hasn’t completely nailed the subject of how we age. The experts know and understand a lot, but there are still major gaps.
It does appear, though, that there is an issue as we get older with mutations, in the way our body replaces all those things it needs to replace, there are “breakdowns” occurring and this translates into an ageing process.
Put into the crudest most non-technical language, we slowly start to lose our ability to efficiently replace the constituent parts that make up our individual biology. This leads to weaknesses, and this explains why we tend to fade.
Death occurs at a tipping point, either ‘naturally’ or with some help from disease.
It’s clear to me from the science that ageing, currently, is irreversible, although it can be slowed and controlled to a point.
Experiments in recent years on mice show that this may soon change. Cell replacement and repair procedures are being tested with amazing results. If these can be developed to work in humans, and the experts think they can, then the possibility of age reversal is no longer a fantasy.
Given that cell repair and damage is also such a feature of many illnesses, this is far from just a question of whether human ingenuity can work out how to stop/reverse ageing. It could be influential in eradicating disease, or dealing with it more effectively.
I think the question at the head of this blog, can we conquer ageing, can be answered with a confident “yes”, the evidence is growing that this is going to occur, and probably very soon.