• Question: Do you believe that one day it will be possible to live forever?

    Asked by Giller_98 to Colin, John, Kevin, Shikha, Triona on 7 Nov 2014. This question was also asked by clodagh :), aileenjcat.
    • Photo: Tríona O'Connell

      Tríona O'Connell answered on 7 Nov 2014:

      I don’t believe it will be anytime soon. You’d have to figure out how to get all the cells in the body to renew themselves in the right order. You’d also have to make sure that the cells continue to die correctly too.
      Cells in your body are constantly dying and renewing themselves. It’s important that cells die in a controlled fashion, out of control cells that don’t die basically become cancer. Cells that are no longer needed need to be removed, your spleen clears out unneeded blood cells for example. Immune cells that react against your own cells need to be killed off before they can do any damage (the ones that react against carefully presented foreign antigens are allowed to live).
      TLDR: maybe, but it’ll be hard to get right

    • Photo: Kevin Motherway

      Kevin Motherway answered on 8 Nov 2014:

      I’d say no (and I wouldn’t want to). Some parts of our body constantly renew like our skin. Others like the discs between our vertebrae just wear out. Living longer as we are all now doing means it creates new problems like hips and knees wearing out as we’re living far longer than our DNA has designed us to do. The world population is also going up and up not because of increased birth rates but because we’re living longer. If we were to live forever how would we feed everyone. While every death is a personal tragedy but it’s also it’s part of the natural order and without death we wouldn’t have life.

      Eventually something will get you. Most likely cancer. Cancers rates are rising world wide and it’s not because the planet is more polluted or the government deliberately poisoning us, if you live long enough eventually those random mutations that are responsible for evolution most will most likely lead to a mutation that causes a cell to go haywire, not die and instead keep multiplying.

      Life is about quality not quantity. If your are going to get an extra 20 years it will be as a very elderly feeble person; not 20 extra years as a 21 year old! No one wants to die, but it’s inevitable. It’s how you spend your finite life on Earth that matters. So use your time wisely: don’t become a Tax Consultant, become a Scientist!

    • Photo: Shikha Sharma

      Shikha Sharma answered on 20 Nov 2014:

      Hi Giller_98, clodagh :), aileenjcat,

      Though the average human lifespan keeps going up but immortality or living forever is something which is not going to happen soon. All cells have a certain age after which they should die. Living forever is like a curse. The person with the longest confirmed lifespan is Jeanne Clement. She lived to be 122 years in 1997. People who live past 95 don’t have healthier habits than you or I do. Even if scientists will come up with something through which we can survive forever this means massive population and our earth will not be able to handle it.