Average human survival has increased by 20 years compared to 100 years ago. However, scientists do not believe that much more will be extended over the next hundred years. In addition, in short, what we have achieved has been to delay death, but since this achievement has not come in all cases from the hand of improving the quality of life, the aging of the population has left direct consequences in society: we have thousands of elderly people with total physical, mental, intellectual or sensory dependence, who need a 24-hour care.
And the goal should not be to extend life, but to live well until the end of the year in which we live. Extend healthy years. We wanted to bring to this issue the new challenges that science is having in this field: to delay the aging process itself, since so far we have been treating diseases derived from aging – dementia, cancer, heart diseases… – as Ander Matheu, of the research center BioDonostia, has recognized us.
In recent times there have been great scientific advances and it seems that delaying the aging process can, incidentally, endanger the overcoming of the limits of life. However, scientists are increasingly aware that maximum survival has an insurmountable limit.
Wanting to change one's aging process also carries the risk of aging itself being considered a disease, and it is important to be clear that it is not a pathology but a physiological process proper to life. In fact, we should reflect on whether the desire to postpone old age is not based on the difficulty of accepting death.
I take the opportunity to introduce myself: I am Aitziber Agirre Ruiz de Arkaute. Vitoria-Gasteiz. By training, doctor in Biochemistry and, ex officio, scientific journalist. From now on, the new director of the magazine Elhuyar Zientzia eta Teknologia. I will take over from Eider Carton Virto, who has been director for twelve years. It is a challenge for readers to respond to what you need and expect, especially in the end times of the change that journalism and Elhuyar magazine live in general. Less bad than the magazine has a work team with a lot of experience. Thanks to you, the comrades, I have grasped eagerly for this new work.