Anti-aging industry to drive real life extension technologies
Although most of the technologies mentioned in this interesting article by the IEET fall into what I would call life extension and rejuvenation, I do believe that the cosmetics driven anti-aging industry is where some of the first breakthroughs will come from. There are plenty scientists working on the big killers like heart disease and diabetes who compete for public funding to help humanity, but this is could be matched by the R&D budgets of companies that produce radical and scientifically tested anti-aging procedures, be it a cream, injection or minor surgery.
It is estimated that the market for anti-aging products will soon reach $290 billion, which if we estimate 5% for research and development that's a budget of $14bn which is the same as global funding for cancer research.
In the UK, when a respected documentary reported that a particular face cream really did help rejuvenate the skin under dermatology examination the product sold out nationwide having sold 5 month's worth of stock in a day. The cream stimulated the production of fibrillin-1, a protein that promotes elasticity in the skin, however had the effect been truly instantly visible I suspect the product would have been even more successful.
With that sort of profit surge, a company could fund further advances for years to come. And once skin deep appearance has been addressed the natural (or unnatural in some people's eyes) next step will be to address under the skin conditions that actively improve underlying health rather than just one's appearance.