The man with the long time dream is to live forever. Pharaohs, kings, presidents have used all possible means to stay forever at least in people's memories. They demanded the songwriting and poetry in his honor, and their ashes kept in the majestic tombs.
Scientists have found a cure for old age?
If before, people often die of hunger, poverty, disease, or physical abuse, but now the main cause of death is old age. The well-being of people and the level of development of medicine growing, fighting off infections and more successful, and that aging leads to most of the diseases that end in death. At the same time, a large number of people live to be a hundred years old, while remaining active.
It is actively studying these centenarians in the world. The next two years will "read" the genome of many of those lucky ones. George Church, a famous geneticist at Harvard (USA), said that he could not simply extend the life itself, and youth. This will help new science — synthetic biology. A cure for old age may require a change in the genome of the individual.
They are not afraid of death!
For useful ideas for intervention should refer to the best samples in nature. Some species of bowhead whales live up to 120 years. These facts are confirmed by the age of harpoons stuck in their bodies. The oldest currently known fish — a bright red a female koi, or nisikigoi (variety of the common carp), named Hanako died at the age of 226 years, is interesting from the point of view of numerology date: July 7, 1977. Arctica islandica Clams can live more than 400 years, as determined by the annual rings of the shell, in almost frozen water, where the metabolic rate is very low.
There are those organisms that generally do not seem to age. For example, Hydra — a small aquatic animal similar to a cactus — not wither, and may be biologically immortal. A jellyfish Turritopsis nutricula over time, even younger. It can be from the adult stage (actually a jellyfish) to return to the earlier — the polyp stage. The total population of these organisms can prodelyvat such focus constantly, avoiding biological death from aging, although some of its members may perish from the teeth of predators and disease.
These inspiring examples of longevity or even immortality in the world of nature is suggestive of a man. We organisms as described above, consist of living cells. And some of these cells may also be immortal.
On the right track
Medusa Turritopsis nutricula younger with time
Among the cytology of the world-known cell culture HeLa, which is growing in the laboratory and used in experimental studies for many years. Where did it come from? African-American Henrietta Lacks died on October 4, 1951 from cervical cancer at the age of 31 years. This patient's tumor cells were selected for research purposes. Now they are called HeLa — the first letters of her first and last name.
It was found that cells can easily grow and divide in an artificial environment — in glassware — indefinitely. Descendants of the original culture alive, and now, more than 60 years after their removal from the tumor. But they are so altered as compared to normal cells, which can not directly be used as a model for the immortality of the human body, yet their study undoubtedly will lead scientists on the right path.
Cloning and Stem Cells?
Scientists have cloned more than 20 species of animals. This mouse, carp, sheep, monkeys, cows, horses, cats, dogs. Cloning living organisms, often referred to as dangerous and unethical. But new scientific thought is always hard to push its way. To recall the in vitro fertilization, which initially was banned, and now is widely and successfully used.
At present, the main argument against human cloning is a high probability of the light is not quite healthy. Cloned animals suffer more and die earlier than their conventional counterparts. However, scientists continue to work hard, and soon the chances for error when cloning will be smaller than normal reproduction. That's when you can already do not be afraid to order your replica and thus achieve immortality.
However, humanity is hoping not only to cloning. But embryonic stem cells? Is not it a miracle? From them you can get any other cell in the body and used to treat a variety of diseases and rejuvenate not only the face and neck, but the whole body.
Synthetic biology in the near future will be able to overcome many of the limitations of natural life span. Medical researchers will be to "repair" the damaged tissue and guide their growth, grow brain cells that will bind with electronic devices and transmit signals to them in an emergency, regardless of the human condition. It will be possible to control the growth of neurons and to improve memory and treat dementia.
Path to polubessmertiyu
Arctica islandica clam can live for over 400 years
So, in the next 10-20 years, humanity has significantly closer to immortality. Or until a polubessmertiyu, that is going to live much longer. How did it look like? Of Thomas Malthus (English economist and priest), who died in 1834, in his book "An Essay on the Principle of Population", wrote about the fact that humanity is strictly limited by the means of existence. He also believed that the human population is growing exponentially, and livelihoods — in arithmetic.
Now, instead of Malthus predicted universal hunger and poverty, we see overall improvement in health, increase their well-being and life expectancy. For example, the American economist Julian Simon, a well-known works on population, immigration and natural resources, in his writings expresses an optimistic view of the future of humanity. He believes that the limitations and the possible depletion will be overcome by human ingenuity, substitutes for natural resources and technical progress. Apparently, hunger does not threaten us.
There shall be resistant to viral and bacterial infections, all forms of cancer, autoimmune diseases and even to the radiation, which is very useful for the exploration of outer space. All this is achieved by introducing into the human genome sequences from organisms which already possess such ability. Resistance to radiation can borrow, for example, Bdelloid rotifer — a small invertebrate creatures rotifers to withstand megadoses of radiation. The study of genomes of centenarians also show the best options to achieve immortality.