New Scientist Live: can you live forever and would you want to? | Artificial intelligence

A person eating a tiny meal
Is cutting your calories really worth it?

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Who wouldn't want to forever? Humankind has long dreamed of immortality, and now science could turn that into reality, as Richard Faragher of the University of Brighton will explain at New Scientist Live in September.

Some people try to extend their lives by going on a permanent diet. Calorie restriction dramatically extends the lives of small, shorter-lived animals, but whether it will have much effect in people is unclear.

Others think ageing stems from the reactive free radicals that are generated by our metabolism and attack our cells – a process some try to assuage by taking high doses of vitamins.


Biotech and pharmaceutical firms are pursuing other approaches, such as anti-ageing pills, and gene therapies that may stop our chromosomes from shrinking as we age.

On 20 September, Faragher will explore which of these strategies might have the best chance of success, as well the real consequences of living past 120. The prospect may not be as attractive as you think.

New Scientist Live is our award-winning festival of ideas and discoveries. The four-day event at London ExCeL will feature more than 110 speakers giving thought-provoking talks on everything from overcoming chronic pain to boosting your brain with magnetism.

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