Call for evidence: Microbiology and healthy ageing

31 Jul 2019

The House of Lords Science and Technology Committee has launched an inquiry into Ageing: Science, Technology and Healthy Living. The committee is seeking evidence regarding the scientific understanding of the ageing process and how research might lead to treatments for delaying or managing the negative effects of ageing.

Microbiology research will have a significant impact on ensuring the health of ageing populations. Ageing is accompanied by increased risk of infectious diseases, including infections caused by foodborne pathogens. Research on food safety and vulnerable populations is therefore an important factor. In addition, increased activity within the field of human microbiome research will reveal important insights into the ageing process.

Taking into consideration these topics and the importance of microorganisms in the human life cycle, SfAM aims to provide a response to the following questions:

  1. How complete is the scientific understanding of the biological processes of ageing and their epidemiologies (including the relative roles of genetics, epigenetics, lifestyle, environment, etc.)?
  2. How firm is the scientific basis for public health advice about healthy lifestyles to increase health span, including physical health and mental health?
  3. Which developments in biomedical science are anticipated in the coming years, in time to contribute to the Government’s aim of five more years of healthy and independent life by 2035?
  4. What technologies will be needed to facilitate treatments for ageing and ageing related diseases, and what is their current state of readiness?

How to respond

If you would like to contribute to the Society’s response and have evidence that might help answer some of these questions, we would be interested to hear your thoughts. Please contact us at policy@sfam.org.uk with your thoughts by Friday 16th August.