According to recent research, humans could live to live to the ripe old age of 150 – and scientists are racing to find out how.
Harvard geniuses, biohackers and internet billionaires are all looking for ways for humans to crack the code of aging.
WaitButWhy blogger Tim Urban writes that “the human body seems programmed to stop somewhere around the centenary, if it hasn’t already.”
And Urban is right! There are no verified cases of anyone living over 122, although the oldest person is on the way to 119.
The GERO.AI researchers concluded that the “hard limit” of human lifespan was between 100 and 150 years – they arrived at this conclusion by analyzing 70,000 participants up to the age of 85 based on their ability to combat disease, the risk of heart disease and cognitive impairment.
The Conversation reported that not a single participant showed the biological resilience to live to age 150 – but notes that the study is limited by today’s medical standards.
Will improvements in medicine, the environment, and technology dramatically lengthen the average lifespan and make 150 a reality?
The human body is made up of approximately 30 trillion cells. Cells constantly die and are replaced by replicants.
In the cell body there are chromosomes – these are strands of DNA with the code written for humans inside.
At the end of a DNA strand is a microscopic bundle of non-crucial DNA, so none of the important stuff gets cut off when the cell divides.
A cell can divide about 50 times before losing its ability to replicate.
As more and more cells become ineffective and die, the signs of aging begin to show in gray hair, weaker bones and loss of vision.
Some theorize that this process can be stopped or reversed.
Researchers from Harvard’s Sinclair Lab write: “If DNA is the digital information on a compact disc, then aging is due to scratches. We are looking for Polish.
Dr. David Sinclair, founder of the lab and one of the foremost scientists working on anti-aging technologies, conducted an experiment that restored the vision of aged mice.
The team injected the mice with a serum of genes that affect the DNA of eye cells.
“Our study demonstrates that it is possible to safely reverse the age of complex tissues such as the retina and restore its youthful biological function,” Sinclair said.
Some people struggle with aging not with tests on mice, but on themselves.
Dave Asprey is an author and entrepreneur who predicts he will live to be 180 thanks to his “biohacking” method.
Asprey, 49, has invested more than $2 million in technologies he believes will alter his biology, including stem cell injections and cryotherapy chambers.
Asprey was quoted as saying, “The things I work on, some of them are expensive, some of them are free, like fasting. It will be like cell phones, everyone has cell phones – everyone will have anti-aging. Change can happen quickly in society.
But even visionaries like Elon Musk are wary of immortality, and the billionaire theorizes it could lead to an elderly population with stagnant ideas.
Although the body shuts down, there is a line of thought that if only our consciousnesses could be preserved, perhaps humans could live longer, not just 150 years, but forever.
Our ability to get the brain to interface with a computer is currently weak – we’ve applied chips that communicate with just a few hundred of the 86 billion neurons – but a Russian billionaire aims to duplicate all of our consciousness and download it on a computer where he can live forever as a robot or hologram.
In the Initiative 2045 manifesto, Dmitry Itskov writes: “People will make independent decisions about extending their lives and possibilities for personal development in a new body after the resources of the biological body have been exhausted.”
Of course, if this idea were to be realized, you would have to leave your current body in favor of your “new body”.
Is it, on some level, a form of death? Do you restart at age zero once your consciousness has been duplicated? Do you age at all living inside a computer?
These are questions of biomedical ethics that are sure to be debated as the search for extended lifespan continues in both the hospital and the computer lab.
This story originally appeared on The Sun and has been reproduced here with permission.