The Dream of Elixir Vitae
would allow the construction of devices with atomic precision
capable of a myriad of functions.
In theory, nanostructures can be built to drive chemical
reactions capable of reversing aging by reversing chemical
reactions and damage that occur as we age. The goal would
be to build the necessary nanostructures to reverse age-related
changes with minimal perturbation. For example, damage to
DNA increases with age. Even though it is debatable whether
this is a result or a cause of aging, it appears likely that if we
could build nanostructures to reverse these changes it could
reverse at least some aspects of age-related disease. The body
already features several of these nanostructures as part of the
DNA repair machinery. Enhancing it with novel nanostruc-
tures could help turn the balance of DNA damage versus repair
in our favor and thus reverse this form of damage. The appli-
cations of nanotechnology are manifold and it is not possible
to describe them all, but one possible application would be to
design bacteria, viruses, or even stem cells to perform large-
scale gene therapy without being attacked by the immune
system. For example, by taking the viral nanostructures for
integrating foreign DNA into host cells and apply them to
stem cells. 
Nanotechnology holds great expectations and promises.
The greatest problem is that, so far, nanotechnology is almost
exclusively theoretical without any clinical or medical trials.
Even so, nanomachines aimed at correcting molecular defects
for which there is no natural tool e.g., removal of lipofus-
cin, also called age-pigment may be necessary.