Help pack a million meals for struggling seniors on Sept. 11. Volunteer today

Bits & Bytes

Most Popular


Our World in the Year 2020

Health & Wellness

Replaceable You

health and wellness

— Viktor Koen

THE BIONIC MAN IS NO LONGER JUST A TV CHARACTER: In 2020, sophisticated robotic limbs, spinal implants, and stem cell therapies typically restore mobility for those paralyzed by injury or disease. Other wonders of medical technology are now keeping our bodies moving longer, but the biggest breakthrough at the doctor's office is the new generation of drugs designed to prevent our minds from turning on us.

Artificial hearts and lungs have proved harder to make than medical pioneers dreamed back in the 1970s. Coming faster to the market, however, are personalized drugs tailored to our individual genetic makeup. Several firms are racing to commercialize genetic mapping, with the goal of sequencing a human genome for $1,000. Jay Flatley, CEO of the San Diego biotech company Illumina, has predicted that mapping the genome of babies at birth could be routine by 2019.

Another long-promised breakthrough: help for the aging mind. Effective Alzheimer's drugs — those that forestall the growth of the brain plaques and tangles that mark the disease — could be available within a decade, predicts David Linden, a professor of neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University and the author of The Accidental Mind: How Brain Evolution Has Given Us Love, Memory, Dreams and God. Some "smart drugs" already being tweaked in the lab may shave years off your brain's age. So though these meds may not be a time machine, someday we will likely be able to take pills that restore some of the zest of youth.

"The idea of brushing your teeth in the morning, then taking a pill that gets your brain back to the fast, high-functioning brain of your 20s, is amazing to me," says Laura Carstensen, director of the Stanford Center on Longevity. "But we may soon get there."

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts


Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.


Social Networking

Step-by-step instructions on how to use some of the Web's most popular networking sites. Go


How to Use Your PC

Guides covering everything from setting up your desktop, to getting the most out of Excel. Go


Protect Your Digital Life

Keep your computer secure, your web surfing safe, and your inbox spam free with these tips. Go


Discounts & Benefits

Geek Squad Computing

Members save on Geek Squad services with Geek Squad® Tech Support & Guidance for AARP® Members.

AARP Discounts on ADT Companion Services

Members get 20% off NEW installation and activation of ADT® Personal Emergency Response System.

AARP Discounts on Consumer Cellular Phones and Plans

Members save 5% on monthly service and usage charges with Consumer Cellular.

Member Benefits

Members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change. Join Today


computer questions and tips

Computer Questions & Tips

Pick up some handy how-tos from this savvy group of techies. Discuss


Freebies Group

Favorite Websites & Freebies

Share your top sites for interesting information, helpful resources — and free stuff! Discuss