My interest is molecular gerontology, that is, the study of aging on a molecular level. I would encourage readers to investigate the science, if for no other reason, than its strategic importance to our society. The way we age today is unacceptable to most thoughtful people. One needs only tour a nursing home to see the scope of decrepitude and human suffering from age-related degenerative disease. On top of that, the demographic trend of out time is the tsunami of health care costs headed our way as a result of the aging baby boom generation. Virtually all projections predict that the wave of health care expenditures will swamp our economy unless new technologies are implemented soon.
But, we are a society of individuals, and on an individual level, there are few areas of medical research that have as much potential to reduce human suffering for ourselves and our loved ones as a detailed understanding of the aging process. And lastly, I would add that some scientists enter the field simply because gerontology is simply fascinating and still largely uncharted territory.
Despite what I have said above, our country has done little to prepare itself for the coming age wave. However, recent advances in the fields of cellular and molecular biology enable us for the first time in history to peer into the machinery of aging and even to design a new enterprise called regenerative medicine, a technology that has the potential to save our nation many billions of dollars in health care costs related to age-related degenerative disease, alleviate human suffering, and potentially even extend human lifespan.
I have offered some basics of gerontology and the technologies to intervene in the process, as well as some historical philosophical and scientific information, using the following links.
The following is a link to a recent review on these topics:
The Germline/Soma Dichotomy: Implications for Aging and Degenerative Disease.