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VIDEO: What If Aging Wasn't Inevitable? The Quest To Slow And Even Reverse Aging

This story was updated on Oct. 3, 2019 to include theMorning Edition audio.

Scientists are better understanding why we age — and they're also better explaining the cellular changes that lead our bodies and brains to decline.

This research has led people like David Sinclair, a geneticist at Harvard Medical School, and Peter Attia, a longevity doctor and oncologist, to challenge the conventional wisdom that aging is inevitable.

Sinclair believes the humans of the future will live decades longer than we do now, thanks to biological and technological interventions that are already being discovered.

In short: Better understanding the mechanisms of aging has led to promising treatments to slow, stop and even reverse the symptoms of growing old. And turning back the clock this way isn't just about a longer life span; it's about extending healthy, vital years. Could pills that mimic the positive benefits of exercise, at least in mice, be effective for humans? And what does this portend for the future, if we will all live decades longer?

This season of Future You is dedicated to the human body and what capabilities we will have in the coming decades. You can find the latest episodes on YouTube or at npr.org/futureyou. And send us your ideas about upgrading humans: Email us at futureyou@npr.org, or contact us through Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.