Is Life Expectancy Approaching Immortality?

I have never really taken human immortality predictions seriously. It doesn’t seem possible, and also seems undesirable. Would you really want to live on earth for thousands of years? How about a million years? If a million years on earth sounds like a good time to you, you’ll be pleased to see some of the latest medical breakthroughs that are trying to make immortality an actual possibility.

Yearning For Immortality

Immortality has been sought after since the beginning of time. No one has cracked the code yet, but there are fairly new organizations dedicated to the cause. They are utalizing the most cutting-edge technology and actually having some successful breakthroughs.

The SENS research foundation is one of those organizations dedicated to helping all of us live forever. They have several breakthroughs and come to the conclusion that the rate at which we age has not been hard-coded into our existence. This means that theoretically, our aging clock can be slowed down to extend our lifespan for hundreds, or even thousands of years. But can the aging process be stopped indefinitely? That’s the million dollar question and several organizations think they have the answer.

Another organization that pours millions of dollars and thousands of man hours into the task of cracking the immortality code is the Glenn Foundation. Their mission is humbly stated as wanting to increase health with life expectancy, but we know what that means. The Glenn Foundation is one of the biggest funders in this anti-aging industry. Paul F Glenn himself was instrumental in getting the National Institute of Aging formed (1).

One of the most promising breakthroughs came from Harvard, not surprisingly. If there is a scientific possibility of making a huge life expectancy leap, I would expect someone from Harvard to be all over it. The Harvard scientists worked in conjunction with the University of New South Wales to discover a way to reverse the aging process. Their breakthrough was in figuring out some of the genes responsible for fighting ageing. By manipulating these genes with natural compounds such as proteins, they have had success with reversing the ageing process in mice.

Keeping It In Context

Their experiments prove that it is possible to reverse ageing, but don’t prove that immortality is possible. Ironically enough, immortality is one of those things that is impossible to prove by its very nature. Since time doesn’t end, it’s not possible to live long enough to prove immortality. Even if someone were able to live for 500 years, they still wouldn’t have proved immortality possible.

Trying to crack the code to immortality is like trying to prove how the word came into being, it’s not possible since none of us were there. It’s all theory and best guesses backed by data. I’m still a skeptic, but reviewing the research has made me open to the idea that our lifespan could realistically double or triple.

 

Would You Be Open To 3D Printed Organs?

Science is a wonderful thing because it’s an unlimited field by nature. The burden of proof works in favor for scientists. Since little can be proven impossible, it means that virtually anything is possible. This corny but true phrase has lead to yet another scientific breakthrough known as organ printing.

What Is Organ Printing

Organ printing is the practice of using 3D printers and various polymers to print replacement organs for humans and animals. Cellular adhesion molecules are also used to help the artificial organ bond with your biological organs.

Research and development in this field is ongoing, but functional organ tissue have already been produced. There have been great leaps made in the past decade when this technology first started making waves. It’s a simple concept, printing living tissue and organs, but it’s more complex than it sounds. It’s not as simple as printing a report in your standard printer. The complexity of bio-printing successful tissue required thousands of hours of intense research before a big breakthrough was made. This is a major accomplishment, but it’s not all clear skies from here. There are many concerns with the practice as well.

Ethical Issue of Immortality

ethical-issuesWith scientific advances, there are always ethical concerns. Organ printing has a long list of ethical issues to consider, the most interesting being the bionic human debate. With head transplants and artificial organs, we are getting closer and closer to creating a bionic human. This would give the affluent an unfair advantage over the rest of society.

Synthetic organs would be designed flawlessly, and could even be enhanced by using a cell-structure that is stronger than the typical human cell. This is not a walk in the park, but with enough research and ingenuity, it’s possible to master the production of enhanced organs. Since 3D printed organs are too expensive for the average person to afford, they would only be readily available to the ultra-rich. This would mean that wealthier people would be walking around with organs that were more durable, not prone to disease, and less likely to malfunction. They wouldn’t get sick as often and wouldn’t be subject to normal human deficiencies. In essence, they would become superhuman or even immortal.

This is an ethical issue because enhancing a human past what is natural could disrupt the rhythm of mother nature. We already have a population or overconsumption problem and enhanced organ printing could amplify that. I’m all for increasing our life expectancy, but I would rather see it done in natural ways. Improvements to diet and diet and natural supplements my two favorite ways to help increase my life expectancy. At a certain level, we have to let nature take its course. I also support transplants but haven’t fully come to terms with things like head transplants or organ printing. I would love to see people with failing organs get a second shot at life, but could also see organ printing getting abused like many other technological advances.

What About You?

The practice of bio-printing has not been accepted as a normal way of restoring your body back to health. It’s till in its infancy and has a long way to go. However, scientists have been able to successfully print live tissue to repair damaged organs. It’s only a matter of time before complete and complex organs are being printed with consistency. When that time comes, which may be sooner than you think, you may be faced with a decision to make.

If you were in need of a new organ, would you rather have a 3D-printed organ or be put on a waiting list for a human organ transplant? There is no gurantee of ever getting a transplant from a human. It would depend on the waiting list time and on how many organs become available for transplantation. Assuming the list wasn’t too long and it looked like you would be able to get a transplant before dying, which would you choose?

The other question that you might be faced with is: would you want to upgrade your organs if this technology became easily accessible? It’s a real possibility that the technology advances and becomes cheap much like a personal computer. PCs were once too expensive for your average person, not they’re in almost every household in America. When organ printing reaches that level of accessibility, would you want to upgrade your organs?

My theory is, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. I wouldn’t upgrade my organs, but I would probably accept a bio-printed organ if I were in need. I don’t think I would want it to be enhanced but would rather have one that was printed with normal human functionality.

The Growing Role of CBD In Natural Medicine

I live in an independent country, but sometimes I don’t personally feel independent. It seems like the slow rate of scientists to accept new and natural forms of medicine can prevent people from getting the care they need and deserve. The feeling of being in need, having a natural cure or remedy, and not being able to get it is a terrible one. Hopefully you never have to experience it.

When you’re put in such a dire situation, you have a choice to make. You have to choose between becoming a criminal in the eyes of the law, or letting your health deteriorate without a snowball’s chance in hell of recovering just so you can remain a law abiding citizen. For some, it’s their darkest moment as their identity is shattered in a dimly lit parking lot, doing an illegal drug deal. For others, they die with their pride because they were a good lawful citizen. This is a personal decision and nobody can make it for you. You’re not wrong if you decide to self-medicate and you’re not wrong if you don’t. You may be in violation of the law, but the variance of marijuana laws from state to state should tell you that it isn’t wrong to use marijuana. It’s illegal in some places, but it’s not amoral. That’s an important distinction to make. Luckily, there’s another cannabinoid that is taking on a larger role in the medicinal cannabis scene.

CBD Growing In Popularity

It’s not exactly marijuana, but it’s close enough that it still can do a miraculous job for people in need. I’m talking about cannabidiol, the second most well-researched cannabinoid. You may know it by the more commonly used term, CBD, or you may have never heard of it at all. It’s not like marijuana but at the same time it is very much like marijuana. It won’t get you high because CBD doesn’t have any psychoactive properties which is probably why it isn’t as popular or well-researched as THC. We have a propensity for looking at life through a negative lens.

CBD can be used for a number of different reasons, including breast cancer and various types of pain, but none of the uses have yet been approved by the FDA. Even though there are thousands of people blogging online and sharing their personal experience with various companies, that isn’t enough for a lot of doctors and agencies to bat an eye. Prestigious scientific communities are notoriously slow to accept natural forms of medicines or supplements. I’m not going to speculate as to why, but they just are. Some doctors have gone as far as to say there is no proof of CBD being effective. Not all doctors and scientists hold that view, but enough do to make you wonder why they seem so adamantly against something that has virtually no downside. They’re quick to recommend a prescription drug with too many side effects to accurately count, but wouldn’t dare think to tell someone to take the prescription and CBD because some people say it helps. Would that be too much to ask for? It seems that being open to using natural herbs and plants in your daily regimens is looked at as quack-ish. This line of thinking needs to be abolished.

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Head Transplants Seem To Be Possible

Early research in the field suggests that head transplants are a real possibility in the near future. Right now, Dr. Xiaoping Ren is experimenting on mice and has been for years. He plans on experimenting on monkeys next, them I would guess apes after that. Humans would be the natural next step after apes. Nobody knows how long it will take before the advancing technology will be safe for human use, but it seems like a real possibility.

Head Transplants Are A Thing

Conerns

It was inevitable. Somebody was going to start trying to transplant heads sooner or later. It’s undoubtedly a complex process, but what Dr. Xiaoping Ren’s pioneering spirit has shown us is that it’s possible. The mice have not lived long after the transplant, but they have been able to operate their new body to a certain extent. That means their brain is able to communicate with their new nervous system to execute movements. With a surgery like this, a lot could go wrong.

There are a lot of ethical concerns that can’t be ignored. The most obvious concern would be the high probability of death. A botched head transplant would end differently than a botched nose job (think Michael Jackson). You can live with a botched nose job, but you would not survive a mishandled head transplant. There would have to be some regulations put in place on who could be eligible for a transplant and who couldn’t. Even with regulations, people who were unhappy with their current body would fly to a country that doesn’t have strict regulations to get their new body. This would undoubtedly lead to a slew of deaths and lawsuits.

The next worry that comes to mind for me is, where would the doner-bodies come from? There’s already enough conspiriacy theories about people’s organs being harvested, do we really want to start putting people’s heads on fresh young bodies? There would be a lot of spit-back from all different directions.

Questions That Come To Mind

Would there be age requirements? Could a 90-year-old affluent male have his head put on an 18-year-old’s former body? Or would we start engineering bodies in laboratories? Could a male head be put on a female body or vice versa? Would this surgery be available to everybody or just the ultra-rich? Would insurance cover it? Would employers be forced to get insurance that covers it like they are with birth control?

I could go on forever with these questions but I think you get it. This is a new field that could be a great thing, but also has the potential for abuse. For people who suffer from paralysis, this could enhance their quality of life tenfold. For people who want a recreational body switcheroo, this could be a tragedy waiting to happen. I will keep a watchful eye on the technology as it develops, but I can promise you I won’t be standing in line anytime soon to test this technology out. It is scary and exciting at the same time. Science is advancing so fast that I can’t keep up with all the latest unthinkable achievements.

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