The Dream of Elixir Vitae
THERAPY AS INFORMATION
A disease, any type of disease, is a time-dependent change
in the body that leads to discomfort, pain, or even death.
Therapies aim to delay, stop, or reverse those changes from
occurring either by large-scale interventions, such as surgery,
or by transmitting the necessary information to the body. For
example, a bacterial infection may be reversed by penicillin,
which is an information vector that tells the bacterial wall to
open, thus killing the bacteria and reversing the disease state.
Most pharmaceutical interventions are, in essence, informa-
tion vectors transmitting instructions that are intended to
delay, stop, or reverse the time-dependent changes related to
a given pathology. Antibiotics, pain-killers, corticosteroids,
anti-depressants, and many more products fit this description.
Yet present therapies transmit relatively simple instructions:
a pain-killer tells neurons to stop transmitting pain signals
and corticosteroids tell the immune system to diminish its
response. Curing aging will most likely require the transmis-
sion of much larger amounts of information.
Aging is a sexually transmitted terminal disease that can be
defined as a number of time-dependent changes in the body
that lead to discomfort, pain, and eventually death. In order
to cure aging we will need to target multiple types of cells
and address different types of molecular damage and malfunc-
tion. That is why organ transplants and surgery will not be the
solution for aging, at least not a definitive cure. The future of
medicine is not in large-scale interventions but in smaller, less
invasive but more precise therapies. The solution to aging is
not in addressing individual age-related pathologies but rather
in tiny structures that are able to instruct our body to become
Thanks to the enzyme telomerase, it is possible to prevent
cells in culture from certain forms of aging.  It is equally