By: A. Cordeiro
It is a fact universally acknowledged that technology is travelling at light speed in today’s society and has been advancing rapidly for more than a few years now. With the improvement of technology, also came the advancement of medicine, and with that, humans have been able to live much longer than originally. Consider the fact that seven decades ago, living for a long time was living up to 65 or even 60, and today people are reaching 120 years of age. Many scientists and researchers have seen a sparking opportunity in advancing longevity, and therefore how healthy people are as they age, and some even say that one day, possibly, immortality could be reached.
In the United States specifically, there is an incorporation called the Human Longevity, Inc. which focuses on exactly these types of medical and technological advances. The pioneer of the company, Dr J. Craig. Venter did a lot of research on human genome sequencing and was able to advance the effort undeniably. This company in specific has the main goal of using data-driven tools to prevent and manage age-related chronic diseases in patients, and therefore improve their overall health. In more scientific terms, the laboratory uses genome sequencing, whole body quantitative MRIs and blood biomarkers to enable it to detect these chronic diseases and therefore lead with them appropriately. This also allows the lab to identify the diseases early and consequently avoid premature death and reduce the cost which some people may have to pay when chronic illnesses are not detected early enough, of course, all of this with the main goal of extending the human lifespan.
As mentioned before, many researchers have taken this opportunity to demonstrate their discoveries to the world, be it through the internet or through literature itself. The first thing these authors tackle is the fact that immortality can even be reached at all, and of course, this depends on each author’s perspective. Many of these researchers, such as the famous Peter Ward, author of “The Price of Immortality The Race to Live Forever”, conclude that scientists are not interested in achieving, ultimately, the immortality of humankind, but extending human activity so that humans can sustain active lives until our last day.
There are some religions which believe in the idea of immortality in this life and some people even reach the point of beginning a regular intermitting fasting schedule to regenerate cells and therefore maintain a younger body. These people and other "immortalists" are working to reach something known as “escape velocity” which is living long enough until biotechnological processes are rapid enough to keep them from dying at all.
On the other hand, there is cryonics, a technique usually seen in movies to preserve life, which is the process of freezing a brain or a body so that it can be retrieved, alive and working, in the future. Those who decide to freeze themselves are thinking of, in fact, living long enough until technology can extend their lives to infinity. Cryonics has a history and has been being tested since the 1960s.
Then again, there are the Silicon Valley investors, otherwise known as billionaires, which invest in widely used, but expensive, ageing cures. Many of these people infuse their bodies with the blood of younger people, plenty of vitamins and supplements, and drastically restrict themselves from calories. None of these techniques, however, seem to convince the scientific field that they truly have proven to work.
In conclusion, many people around the world, not only scientists and researchers, have been investing and exploring the idea of infinite life and, due to how quickly our technology is advancing, throughout the next few decades, we should hear a lot more about this topic, being as it has already started its takeover of the scientific community and fraction of the human population.