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Pioneering scientist claims menopause could be eliminated in 20 years

Dr Aubrey de Grey has said rapid progress in stem cell and regenerative therapies could vanish current limits

Rose Troup Buchanan
Sunday 21 September 2014 11:45 BST
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Could the menopause be eliminated?
Could the menopause be eliminated? (REX)

A pioneering scientist has claimed the menopause could be eliminated within 20 years.

Aubrey de Grey, a stem cell scientist, has claimed rapid progress in stem cell and regenerative therapies may mean the current limits on when women are able to conceive and give birth could vanish.

Arguing in The Times, Dr de Grey claimed there was no reason why anti-aging treatments could not be extended to the female reproductive organs, meaning the menopause could be “turned on and off”.

Dr de Grey, co-founder and chief science officer of the SENS (Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence) Research Foundation, said of the time estimate for eliminating the menopause: “We can definitely think in terms of 20 years from now.

“We could rejuvenate the ovary by stimulating or replenishing stem cells, we could create a whole new ovary through tissue engineering like an artificial heart, there are all manner of possibilities.”

However, Dr de Grey’s optimism is not shared by some of his fellow scientists.

Robin Lovell-Badge from the National Institute for Medical Research in London, said to The Times Dr de Grey’s ideas were “wildly over-ambitious”.

Mr Lovell-Badge said progress – in that area – had been “very slow” and that there has been no demonstration “with any robustness” that stem cells can be used to generate egg cells.

Despite this, Dr de Grey’s work has attracted significant funding from figures such as Facebook backer Peter Thiel.

The SEN Research Foundation, based in California, was launched in 2009 to research programmes for the application of regenerative medicine to aging. Its stated goal is to “transform the way the world researches and treats age-related disease.”

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