FREEDOM AND SAFETY
Can science really enable us stick around on Earth forever? Experts haven’t developed ways to make us invincible, immortal beings who are unsusceptible to physical trauma or starvation. However, studies have been going on to make aging just another preventable disease. Effectively stalling the deterioration of our bodies would then mean humans could live indefinitely.
Peter Diamandis, co-founder of San Diego-based genotype research facility Human Longevity, Inc., spoke at the Singularity University in California last September about challenging aging and the deterioration of the body. The key to unlocking an indefinite lifespan was to improve the repair mechanisms of the body, said Diamandis. His research teams consider the possibility of using stem cells or nanomachines to regenerate our bodies.
Last year, researchers from the Stanford University School of Medicine have used chromosome extensions that dramatically increased the rate of cell division, a growth mechanism of our bodies that weakens over time. The development hints at a chance to turn back the biological clock.
Metformin, a drug used to control diabetes, was dubbed “the fountain of youth” after discovering that it can extend the life of animals and prevent cancer. The drug increased the number of oxygen molecules processed by the cell, boosting metabolic and cellular processes vital to keeping us in good heath. Clinical testing for Metformin as an anti-aging drug began in February.
The developers of Metformin claimed that the drug could possibly help us live up to 120 years old, something that sounds straight out of science fiction. More and more, science is helping us understand our bodies and how we can cope with disease, and even aging.
Who wants to live forever? While answers may vary from person to person, what’s evident is that these developments are aiming to keep each person at their prime health and to spare people from the pain and difficulty of degenerative disease.
Stephanie Lederman, director of the American Foundation for Aging Research in New York, said, “The perception is that we are all looking for a fountain of youth…what we’re trying to do is increase health span, not look for eternal life.”