Chris Van Es

Faut-il vivre 1000 ans ?

PRINCETON – Sur quels domaines devrait être axée la recherche médicale et en sciences biologiques ? De nombreux arguments étayent l’idée de s’attaquer aux maladies qui tuent le plus grand nombre de personnes – le paludisme, la rougeole et les maladies diarrhéiques qui font des millions de victimes dans les pays en développement, mais peu dans les pays développés.

Les pays développés consacrent quant à eux l’essentiel de leur fonds de recherche aux maladies dont souffrent leurs populations et qui devraient persister dans un avenir prévisible. Compte tenu de cette contrainte, quelle avancée médicale serait le plus à même d’améliorer nos vies ?

Si votre première pensée est un « traitement contre le cancer » ou un « traitement contre les maladies cardiovasculaires », pensez-y à deux fois. Aubrey de Grey, principal responsable scientifique de la Fondation SENS et l’avocat le plus éminent de la recherche contre le vieillissement, affirme qu’il ne fait aucun sens de dépenser l’essentiel des ressources de la recherche médicale pour combattre les maladies de la vieillesse sans combattre la vieillesse elle-même. Si nous parvenons à soigner l’une de ces maladies, ceux qui y auraient succombé doivent s’attendre à mourir d’une autre maladie dans les années qui suivent. Les bénéfices sont donc limités.

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