Since the dawn of man, the gift of immortality has been sought after by many. Over the course of our history this impossible reality has inspired myths, legends, and stories that will stand the test of time. Whether it was known as The Fountain Of Youth, or The Philosophers Stone, the desire to live forever still exists today. So where are we in this quest for eternal life? Many have devoted their entire lives to discovering this secret, and all have failed. However, with the advancements of technology we see today, and look towards in our future, this impossible dream may not be as impossible as we once thought. In this first article i will briefly talk about two medical technologies that could bring us closer to eternal life.
Perhaps the most crucial step to finding the key to immortality is first looking at simply prolonging our mortal lives. And this is precisely what the Methuselah Foundation is working to achieve. This non-profit foundation is working towards the simple goal of extending a healthy life by the use of the latest medical technologies, including tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. The Methuselah Foundation hopes to allow people in their nineties to be as healthy as a fifty year old as soon as the year 2030. Although this sounds too good to be true, I believe this goal is possible. Tissue engineering is an incredible medical technology that is severely underfunded by our government, yet it is a crucial technology for the medical field. Since the majority of our physical body is tissue, having the ability to create new tissue is vital for the medical field. Advancements in tissue engineering could lead to the creation of fully functional organs, and skin. People in need of organs would be able to receive a fully compatible heart, much faster than waiting for an organ donor.
Tissue engineering may be a great advancement, but it still doesn't solve the issue of ageing. And that's when regenerative medicine is brought into play. When you age, your cells degrade and lose its ability to heal themselves as easily as when you were younger. This is the biggest reason mortality exists. Being able to completely heal damaged, or aged cells back to its youthful origins would be an incredible feat. One that could achieve eternal life on its own. Some of you may be asking if this is even possible, and my answer is an optimistic yes. I base my answer off of an usual source of nature, a jellyfish.
The Turritopsis dohrnii, also known as the "Immortal Jellyfish" is a very unique species. Capable of reverting its cellular structure to an earlier stage in its development, essentially regenerating its entire body. Basically this would be like you reverting back into a pubescent teenager instead of dying. With the discovery of this jellyfish, scientists have already been able to develop medicines to help our bodies heal. Because of this jellyfish, i can optimistically believe regenerative medicine is possible.
In conclusion, the two medical technologies i briefly talked about in this article could help us reach the dream of living forever. In my next article, i will talk about another possible path for us to achieve immortality; Computers.