>Back in 1990 or so, Tom Johnson demonstrated that it is possible to slow the aging process in a multi-cellular organism.
Since then, our knowledge of the biology of aging and the interconnections of caloric restriction, the effects of red wine, mitochondrial function, and the genetics of aging have advanced tremendously.
In any case, the first drug created as an attempt to directly manipulate the underlying causes of aging is getting very close to human trials. It might not work – most drugs fail in trials – but it might just be found to be effective in, say, protecting against diabetes, or stabiliizing blood sugar, or helping people lose weight.
Note that in the mouse trials, this drug – which is a synthetic analog of resveratrol, a beneficial compound in red wine – keeps mice skinny and healthy even when they are on a high fat, high calorie diet. It also increases their endurance. Mice on this drug are more fit and can run longer than mice not on it. In short, it looks a lot like what happens to an animal under Caloric Restriction, except that the animals can still eat.
Sounds like something people might pay for, eh? Assuming of course that it works in humans, is safe, and doesn’t have side effects that people would find intolerable. A lot of promising drugs that work in other animals fail to get to humans for those reasons.
Still: Whether this particular drug succeeds or fails, Pandora’s box is open. Nothing about human lifespan or anything else about the human organism should be taken as fixed any longer.