Nature doesn’t specifically want you to die -- there is no “death gene”. People perish not because of some internal clock counting down to death, but because nature doesn’t bother to promote self-healing past a certain point.
In other words, it is typically benign ignorant neglect, not intentional malice, that results in your life ending prematurely.
There is at least one animal that scientists believe is immortal. The hydra, a microscopic freshwater animal shaped like a squid, does not seem to die from age-related causes. Planarians, a kind of flattened worm, may also be immortal. Among more complex animals, turtles may be immune to the effects of aging. They can die from disease or injury, but do not seem to grow old.
Biogerontologist Aubrey de Grey, Cambridge researcher, and chairman and chief science officer of the Methuselah Foundation, has a plan to engineer immortality for humans as well.
His “strategies for engineering negligible senescence” (SENS) plan focuses on finding the main causes of age-related damage and using science to prevent or reverse them.
According to Dr. de Grey, there are seven major known cases of aging:
- cell loss
- death resistant cells (that overstay their welcome)
- nuclear DNA mutations
- mitochondrial DNA mutations
- intracellular junk
- extracellular junk
- extracellular crosslinks (which link together molecules that should be kept separated)
If these conditions are treated as diseases with a cure, immortality just might be achievable…
As radical as it may sound, Dr. de Grey believes immortality is achievable.
And he’s not alone in his thinking. The World Transhumanist Association (WTA) is slowly but surely beginning to gain ground. Their membership has risen from 2,000 to almost 5,000 since 2000, and transhumanist student groups have sprung up at university campuses from California to Nairobi.
To others, these ideas are as frightening as they are amazing. Political scientist Francis Fukuyama singled out transhumanism as the world‘s "most dangerous idea."
In Pursuit of Radical Life Extension
From a strictly biological standpoint, the maximum lifespan of human beings seems to be set at around 120 years. However, I do believe it’s possible to extend your lifespan well beyond this with the regenerative technologies that Dr. de Grey discusses.
While regulating your insulin pathways and all the other important lifestyle changes I advocate would clearly increase not only the quantity of your years but the quality of them as well, Dr. de Grey does not believe that will be the biggest improvement in longevity.
In this 30-minute interview, Aubrey de Grey explains how aging is a preventable phenomenon, and much like a disease, merely a side effect of being alive.
He believes humans could live for several centuries, if only we approach the aging process as an “engineering problem.”
According to de Grey, the “7 Deadly Things” listed above are responsible for your physical aging, and are the basis of his “engineering approach” solutions.
Essentially, de Grey’s hypothesis states that if you can keep these seven deadly cell-damaging processes below the threshold of pathology – the state where processes start to break cells down until your body dies from the cumulative damage – you will be able to extend your life indefinitely.
He focuses on technologies that actually reverse the damage that aging causes, and he is confident that it will be possible one day to not only reverse the internal tissue damage but the physical external appearance as well (which he believes will be much easier to do).
Adult (not embryonic) stem cell technology is one of these approaches. I am actually in the process of beta testing some topical stem cell factors that promises to provide me with a full head of original hair in the next three months. I am taking pictures daily so it will be fun to document the process.
If you want to see how emerging science will someday transform elderly people to better versions of their former young selves––and if you want to learn what simple steps you can take now to help ensure you will be alive to take advantage of tomorrow’s age-reversing medical miracles—bookmark this web site. www.MaxLife.org. That’s Maximum Life Foundation’s site where you’ll be able to access a revolutionary book in January called “Life Extension Express, 7 steps you can take now, to catch the emerging wave of medical breakthroughs… for a youthful, indefinite lifespan.” Meanwhile, visit the site now for extreme life extension information. www.MaxLife.org.