Scientists Closing in on Fountain of Youth

March 27, 2009

(ChattahBox)—An interesting post from the Daily Galaxy today, ponders on advances made in the science of aging, and the possibility that we may be getting closer to achieving a form of human “immortality in our lifetimes. I’m all for research into age related diseases and extending the length and quality of our lives in the process, but the whole concept of immortality has the ring of some dark necromancers, toiling away in a secret laboratory akin to fictional mad scientist, Victor Frankenstein. However, many reputable anti-aging scientists and geneticists are in fact, working on research that may someday, significantly slow or stop aging altogether.

Famous Cambridge University geneticist, Aubrey de Grey believes someday, people will live to be 1,000 years old. Grey heads up the Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence (SENS) project, which is involved in groundbreaking age research. He also runs the so called, Methuselah Mouse prize that is successfully working on extending the lifespan of mice.

Professor Michael Rose of the University of California, Irvine, boldly proclaims he is working on “immortality,” with his groundbreaking research in extending the lives of fruit flies. Robert Freitas of the Institute for Molecular Manufacturing, a California based nanotech firm, believes aging could be “cured” in the next two to four decades.

Others, question the morality and practical impediments of creating a world of immortal human beings. Professor of surgery, at the Yale School of Medicine, Sherwin Nuland, believes immortality would take away the whole concept of what it means to be human. Conservatives see the issue of anti-aging science as against God’s plan creating human beings to have a finite life.

Besides ethical issues, there are also the practical issues of populating an already crowded planet with limited resources, with immortal human beings. Anti-aging advocates believe by the time immortality is achieved, we will also have achieved space colonization to relieve the world of overcrowding.

Putting aside the extreme concept of immortality, anti-aging science marches on and we may very well see-increased life spans in the ensuing decades, from the advancement of medicine wiping out age related diseases, and genetic research tinkering with our DNA.

Ever since Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León journeyed to the New World in 1513, in search of the legendary Fountain of Youth, people have been intrigued with the concept of eternal life and that hasn’t changed.


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