Eternal life…will it ever be granted

Kristin DiPede, Writer

Every week there is something new in the technology world that people are rushing out to buy or download on their devices. The way technology has evolved over time is mesmerizing compared to lack thereof in earlier times. There is one thing for sure that has not been discovered by technology yet, and that is the ability to live eternally.

Yes, living forever and ever, with no fear of dying. Would it be worth it though? Would life become boring? Would there be no goals set because one can do them whenever they please? One thing is for certain, time would not be of the essence.

After asking various people of multiple ages, many people generally felt that life would simply drag on too long. “Life would get boring,” Natalie, a Colts Neck High School student, commented. Would it become dreary though? True, one may accomplish everything and be deprived of the thrill of having to rush to get it done before the end of their time. There would be no more bucket lists of crazy aspirations. Earth may become boring after visiting every country, but at least people could be able to do that, time and time again.

Based on information gathered, aging is no longer fun after the decade of being in the “twenties” is over. Physical and mental attributes of a person sometimes alter, and some may not even realize the changes until they are an elder. The wrinkles, gray hair, glasses, and many other assets of growing old eventually come with aging.

Dave, a jolly father, claimed, “I do not want to be living in diapers after I am 80. I don’t want people taking care of me and all that.” Knowing the facts that come with certain ages can be scary, and some do not want to live through that.

There is no need to worry about Dave’s concerns because “serious people are doing research in this area and serious thinkers are thinking about this,” David Masci, a researcher at the Pew Research Centre stated to The Guardian. More scientists are looking into the biology of aging and are learning how to accompany living longer with the side effects of age. Kevin Lee, director of the Ellison Medical Foundation, said to The Guardian that “the consequence of increasing health is that life is extended…but the most important part is keeping people healthy as long as possible.” Scientists in this organization are identifying the details of aging, which leads to the root of diseases and how to prevent them.

So, what if there was the possibility to live forever? “I would not want to grow older and stay old though,” was the response from Cat, another Colts Neck High School student. “What if every twenty years you aged another year or if you could pick an age and live at that age forever?” I responded. ‘That sounds better’ seemed to be the overall response from people when I questioned them of this matter. Some said that it would not be possible to live one age though because no one would be reproducing and the cycle of life would get “messed up.” Good point, but with the ability to live forever you would think scientists would have created a method to avoid this from happening.

Biomedical gerontologist, Aubrey de Grey of the SENS Research Foundation, spoke to Geekwire about his research and theories on this topic. In an interview with Geekwire, de Grey said the reason people die is because of “the accumulation of these various types of molecular and cellular damage that the body does to itself as a side effect of just being alive.” De Grey reasoned that this molecular and cellular damage can be repaired with regenerative medicines, such as drugs and vaccines, stem cell therapy, and gene therapy. “We are talking about a world in which quality will confer quantity, in which you will live longer because you are living better,” stated de Grey.

Joon Yun is another researcher looking to extend the lives of humans. He has put out a Palo Alto Longevity Prize to award the first scientist to restore and extend the lifespan of mice by fifty percent. He reported to The Guardian, that this pursuit is more for the moral of things and not a personal quest.

Companies have been created to solve this issue. Craig Venter and Peter Diamandis created a company called Human Longevity Inc. that plans to create a database of one million human genome sequences by the year 2020. This data will help give information on how to live a longer, healthier life. A researcher based at Harvard, David Sinclair, has stated there have been advances in research with mice. “We’re now at the point where it’s easy to extend the lifespan of a mouse. That’s not the question any more, it’s can we do this in humans? And I don’t see any reason why we can’t,” Sinclair said to The Guardian.

Will the world ever come to this? Will eternity become a reality? That is for humans to hope for, or not, depending on where one stands. Possibilities are interminable and the innovative technology of the world only enhances those opportunities.