Can We Live Forever?

Saira Medunjanin, Staff Writer

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It may seem silly at first– but as society advances, so does our medicine. Can we truly live forever?

Zombies

Let’s get things straight- zombies aren’t real. Sorry, I know a lot of you like The Walking Dead. They may not be real, but, there are many folklore about them. In the Middle Ages, it was commonly believed that the souls of the dead could return to earth and haunt the living. According to the Encyclopedia of Things that Never Were, particularly in France during the Middle Ages, the dead soul rises from the dead usually to avenge some crime committed against the entity, most likely a murder. The soul usually took on the form of a dead body and wandered around graveyards at night. The zombie appears in several other cultures worldwide, including China, Japan  and the Native Americans.

We’re Not Interested in Fairy Tales!

As medicine and living conditions improve, our life expectancy is raising. So then, would it be possible if one day we couldn’t die? Would it ever be possible to have our life expectancy was 100% or above?

There are too many common problems to live forever- obesity, cancer, etc- which all must be taken into consideration when dealing with these hypothetical questions. But scientists are trying to figure out if this may be possible.

Fun Fact:

The oldest person to have ever lived was a French woman, Jeanne Calment, who lived to the age of 122 years and 165 days.

Scientific Explanation…?

Though you may not know it, our bodies go through a lot per day. They even function at night, which means your body is hard at work. The only way to rejuvenate your body? Sleeping of course.

But this isn’t an advertisement for NyQuil, I’m here to tell you all the real reason why we can’t live forever.  

Aging may seem complicated- but it’s pretty easy to understand. You could think of aging as a side effect of life, or as gaining age. But as you gain age, your cells and muscles grow weaker after working so hard. This is why your grandma can’t walk without a cane.

As your cells grow weaker, some of them die. And your body can only take so much of the cells dying- so then we eventually die. But, there are other reasons for dying other than age. Some people die of diseases, such as Cancer or heterotaxy, and some people die of obesity. Unfortunately, many others die of poverty and hydration deprivation.

Scientists are currently growing body parts in labs. In 2011, Swedish scientists performed the world’s first organ transplant using a synthetic organ that was grown in London. The transplant was a success, and even today, 5 years after the transplant, the man is still alive and well. Scientists are now trying to grow more complex organs, like hearts–and they predict that in less than ten years any organ will be able to be grown in a lab. At any time, in any quantity.

There are also many scientists creating non-aging medicines, like SENS. In 2005, a scientist organized a group called SENS, to create non-aging medicines- medicines to REVERSE life’s order. This scientist, Aubrey de Grey, claims that “Death is a disease…that can be cured with the right medicine.”

If we create a pill that can reverse the aging sequence, then we would live forever. So then how do we create a pill that stops aging?

In our DNA, we have things called Telomeres. Telomeres shorten as we age, which leads to the wipeout of cells. So:
If we create a pill that lengthens your Telomeres, we would be able to live forever!

See? Simple, like I told you.

Sources:

Can We Live Forever?