Setting aside all debates, don’t we want to stay young forever? There aren’t enough days in one life to do everything we want. It’s hard to abolish death for good, but we have begun making progress to this goal. This goal is today approached from all imaginable angles.
Can’t we hope that at least some of those attempts meet success? A breakthrough can change human condition forever and here are a few such technologies; some of these technologies have already made rapid advancements.
Unlocking what the Genes Can Do
One thing that is keeping you from having the lifespan of a vampire is an enzyme called telomerase. If you have decided that you want to live till squids evolve to begin swinging from trees, you need to know that though we accept aging to be a constant part of the Universe, it isn’t so in reality. The breakdown in cells causes us to be frail. This is actually a defect; science is making attempts to pin them down. If we could be a part of germ and disaster free world, we could live forever.
We have an enzyme called telomerase. Every time our cells divide, some of this gets lost. This means that you are breaking your body’s capability to regenerate itself each time you heal or grow. The scientists are making attempts to replenish telomerase or prevent its loss. As soon as they meet success, we can reverse the process of aging.
3D Printed Organs
Though once considered as gimmick, 3D printing has evolved a lot now and today has multiple practical applications. Prosthetic limbs and lab grown meat no doubt look interesting but the 3D printed live organs deserve a special mention.
This application of 3D printing technology deserves a special mention. This is advanced as well as comparatively more expensive than at home machinery; this is because bioprinting prints the live cells. An addictive method, this has several things that are similar to consumer level 3D printing. The structure of the intended organs is printed with proteins and then the space in between is filled with the live stem cells. This grows, filling out the scaffold.
As pointed out by CNN, “Bioprinting works like this: Scientists harvest human cells from biopsies or stem cells, then allow them to multiply in a petri dish.
The resulting mixture, a sort of biological ink, is fed into a 3D printer, which is programmed to arrange different cell types, along with other materials, into a precise three-dimensional shape. Doctors hope that when placed in the body, these 3D-printed cells will integrate with existing tissues.”
Cloned Parts or a New Body
While no one has cloned or claimed to clone a human, it is plausible scientifically. There are two different ideas at work here.
The first is the manufacture of new and healthy organs to replace the faulty ones. Most people die of organ failure and thus this will be really beneficial. Organ farming is a less morally ambiguous process as it involves cloning of individual body parts.
The other way is to clone humans. This is a bit awkward as this either means killing a cloned individual or raising a functional body that was brain dead right from birth.
Young Blood Protein
What if the ‘elixir of life’ is nothing apart from the blood of youth? This might be true. Blood of the young may stop or even reverse the process of aging.
This works through blood transfusion. Deceptively simple, this renders miraculous results. When the researchers inject blood into old mice from a younger one, the older mice experience rejuvenating effect.
According to the Science Magazine, “Last year one team identified a growth factor in the blood that they think is partly responsible for the anti-aging effect on a specific tissue—the heart. Now, that team has shown this same factor can also rejuvenate muscle and the brain.”
This effect is due to the presence of GDF11 or Growth Differentiation Factor 11. This is a protein regulating stem cell activity. The younger mice have this in abundance but its presence tapers with time.
Research in this area is still in infancy. However, the results till this point are quite remarkable. The scientists are moving cautiously though they are quite hopeful of its success.
We are still far away from stopping the process of aging though we are progressing at a rapid speed and making gains that can add up to being really amazing. Maybe it will happen long after or may not even happen. But there is no harm hoping. What say?
Information Share By Icreate3d