Techniques for extending people's lives have come from a vast number of somewhat unexpected research projects. Transplanting organs from other people (or animals) and isolating various natural products weren't always as commonplace as they are now. Hopefully, life-saving research won't be locked away in patent
monopolies, and naturally-occurring materials will remain free for anyone to use. Here are just a few fascinating advances in medical science.
If you'd like to read more awesome and interesting stuff, check out this unrelated (but not entirely random!) Techdirt post