How to Live Forever
Technologies that promise eternal youth or everlasting life
February 26, 2017
Anti-aging science is advancing steadily and urgently, like the second hand of a billionaire’s timepiece. Foundations with private and corporate funding have been established to attack the ageing problem from different angles.
People are living longer in general, with changing attitudes toward diet and exercise, and humanitarian efforts in developing countries. Incremental progress is being made in the understanding of how the aging process affects the body. Global average life expectancy (71.4 years in 2015), increased by 5 years between 2000 and 2015, the fastest increase since the 1960s. – WHO Advances in imaging techniques will allow for researchers to see inside a living cell at higher and higher resolutions. Biotechnology breakthroughs like CRISPR-Cas9 will help decode the genes related to age. Artificial intelligence and quantum computers are coming of age and can help make sense of all the data and run long simulations.
Leaps to Immortality
Here are some of the long-shot technologies that could bring immortality.
Cryonics uses temperatures below −130°C, called cryopreservation, to preserve enough brain information to permit future revival of the person. The hope is that in the future, medical technology will provide a way of bringing the person back. Costs can range from $28,000 to $200,000, and are often financed via life insurance. Although quite controversial, cryonics is the only method in this list that is available now.
The theory behind whole brain emulation is that you are the sum of the wiring in your brain. By making a copy of your physical brain, you make a copy of yourself. With this information, it is proposed that a virtual you can be created in a computer, or your mind map can be transferred to a clone or robot.
The roles mitochondria, telomeres and telomerase play in cell aging is becoming better understood. Personalized therapies using nanomedicines may one day bring eternal youth, even age reversal, without ever having to leave your body.
Fix what is wrong
Regenerative medicine may be able to bridge the gap between living now and forever. Custom replacement organs might soon be 3D printed or grown in another animal. Techniques are also being developed to allow the body to heal itself.
Replacing body parts with machines may also extend lives, when biological replacements are not available.
Life extending technologies will continue to improve. Some have said that the first person to live to be 150 years old has already been born. But what will they look like? Will they be cyborgs, will they have bodies at all or will their brains reside in a box? Living in the future, could mean many things.
Young woman blowing glitter via Pixabay
Life Expectancy chart via Wikipedia
Cryo-tattoo by Steve Jurvetson via Flickr
Connectome By jgmarcelino from Newcastle upon Tyne, UK (Webs'r'us Uploaded by CFCF) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Longevity Pill by FFA
Ear project by Army Medicine via Flickr
Cyborg by Dan Sakamoto via Flickr
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