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Old 03-19-2012, 05:07 PM   #41
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"I don't want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve it by not dying." So said American director Woody Allen. We've been raised with the belief that death is inevitable, so we must consider the legacy of what we'll leave behind. But what if you had unlimited time to pursue your life's work? What if you didn't have to die?

The idea of living forever might seem like one that's limited to fairy tales, particularly if you were born in 1800, when the average life expectancy was 35 years [source: Sieberg]. Now, though, men in the U.S. have a life expectancy of 75 years; women, 80 [source: O'Neill]. If life expectancy can more than double in 200 years, then might it double again? Could it do so infinitely?

Some researchers believe that there's a limit on how many years a human being could live, the maximum being 125. Others see a world in which we have centenarians walking around with people who have lived for 500 or 1,000 years. Diseases related to aging, like dementia and heart disease, currently block us from reaching that point. Our body parts wear out from use. In the quest for immortality, then, scientists are focused on how to stop aging from occurring within the body.

One method that has demonstrably increased the lifespan of creatures such as mice is a calorie-restricted diet. To follow this diet, you must cut your caloric intake by 30 percent while still consuming all necessary nutrients. This eating plan has proven difficult for humans to maintain, so researchers are trying to figure out how, exactly, fewer calories lengthen life. If they can solve that puzzle, they may be able to replicate the mechanism in pill form.

Anti-aging pills could also be used to halt the production of free radicals, which are molecules that cause increasing damage within the body as we age. Researchers are also considering whether compounds like resveratrol, which is found in red wine, could be effective in pill form, as resveratrol might have the ability to interfere with the aging process at the genetic level. Some scientists think that telomerase, an enzyme that mends protective coverings on cells, is the answer, while some would-be centenarians have begun injections of human growth hormone, hoping they will stop the body from aging.

As you might be able to tell, there are many theories on why we age and how we can stop it, and an anti-aging pill may be decades away -- if it ever appears at all. One challenge to the pursuit of an anti-aging pill is how long humans already live; while current studies with mice or yeast cells are feasible, a study on a human could take, well, 75 or 80 years.

Some people aren't going to wait that long. Take Ray Kurzweil: He claims that by 2045, an event known as "the singularity" will occur, and humans will become one with machines [source: Kushner]. Flesh and blood aren't ideal materials for longevity, so we'll turn to materials that are a bit more durable. Other futurists envision a world in which a computer serves as backup for our brain and silicone parts will take the place of frail limbs.

As scientists figure out whether we'll be part machine or hopped up on resveratrol, it's probably best not to abandon your life's legacy just yet.
http://science.howstuffworks.com/env...ve-forever.htm
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The rest of the world must be laughing at us now. It is so bad slipping to third world status...
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Old 03-19-2012, 05:10 PM   #42
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Can the Human Lifespan Reach 1,000 Years -Some Experts Say "Yes"


Cambridge University geneticist Aubrey de Grey has famously stated, "The first person to live to be 1,000 years old is certainly alive today ...whether they realize it or not, barring accidents and suicide, most people now 40 years or younger can expect to live for centuries."

Perhaps de Gray is way too optimistic, but plenty of others have joined the search for a virtual fountain of youth. In fact, a growing number of scientists, doctors, geneticists and nanotech experts-many with impeccable academic credentials-are insisting that there is no hard reason why ageing can't be dramatically slowed or prevented altogether. Not only is it theoretically possible, they argue, but a scientifically achievable goal that can and should be reached in time to benefit those alive today.

"I am working on immortality," says Michael Rose, a professor of evolutionary biology at the University of California, Irvine, who has achieved breakthrough results extending the lives of fruit flies. "Twenty years ago the idea of postponing aging, let alone reversing it, was weird and off-the-wall. Today there are good reasons for thinking it is fundamentally possible."

Even the US government finds the field sufficiently promising to fund some of the research. Federal funding for "the biology of ageing", excluding work on ageing-specific diseases like heart failure and cancer - has been running at about $2.4 billion a year, according to the National Institute of Ageing, part of the National Institutes of Health.

So far, the most intriguing results have been spawned by the genetics labs of bigger universities, where anti-ageing scientists have found ways to extend live spans of a range of organisms-including mammals. But genetic research is not the only field that may hold the key to eternity.

"There are many, many different components of ageing and we are chipping away at all of them," said Robert Freitas at the Institute for Molecular Manufacturing, a non-profit, nanotech group in Palo Alto, California. "It will take time and, if you put it in terms of the big developments of modern technology, say the telephone, we are still about 10 years off from Alexander Graham Bell shouting to his assistant through that first device. Still, in the near future, say the next two to four decades, the disease of ageing will be cured."

But not everyone thinks ageing can or should be cured. Some say that humans weren't meant to live forever, regardless of whether or not we actually can.

"I just don't think [immortality] is possible," says Sherwin Nuland, a professor of surgery at the Yale School of Medicine. "Aubrey and the others who talk of greatly extending lifespan are oversimplifying the science and just don't understand the magnitude of the task. His plan will not succeed. Were it to do so, it would undermine what it means to be human."

It's interesting that Nuland first says he doesn't think it will work but then adds that if it does, it will undermine humanity. So, which is it? Is it impossible, or are the skeptics just hoping it is?

After all, we already have overpopulation, global warming, limited resources and other issues to deal with, so why compound the problem by adding immortality into the mix.

But anti-ageing enthusiasts argue that as our perspectives change and science and technology advance exponentially, new solutions will emerge. Space colonization, for example, along with dramatically improved resource management, could resolve the concerns associated with long life. They reason that if the Universe goes on seemingly forever-much of it presumably unused-why not populate it?

However, anti-ageing crusaders are coming up against an increasingly influential alliance of bioconservatives who want to restrict research seeking to "unnaturally" prolong life. Some of these individuals were influential in persuading President Bush in 2001 to restrict federal funding for embryonic stem cell research. They oppose the idea of life extension and anti-ageing research on ethical, moral and ecological grounds.

Leon Kass, the former head of Bush's Council on Bioethics, insists that "the finitude of human life is a blessing for every human individual". Bioethicist Daniel Callahan of the Garrison, New York-based Hastings Centre, agrees: "There is no known social good coming from the conquest of death."

Maybe they're right, but then why do we as humans strive so hard to prolong our lives in the first place? Maybe growing old, getting sick and dying is just a natural, inevitable part of the circle of life, and we may as well accept it.

"But it's not inevitable, that's the point," de Grey says. "At the moment, we're stuck with this awful fatalism that we're all going to get old and sick and die painful deaths. There are a 100,000 people dying each day from age-related diseases. We can stop this carnage. It's simply a matter of deciding that's what we should be doing."

One wonders what Methuselah would say about all this.

Posted by Rebecca Sato
http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog...mans-live.html
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Had to turn off the TV... Fox was making more sense than anyone else.

The rest of the world must be laughing at us now. It is so bad slipping to third world status...

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Old 03-19-2012, 05:15 PM   #43
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A good article talking about telomeres: http://www.viewzone.com/aging.html
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Had to turn off the TV... Fox was making more sense than anyone else.

The rest of the world must be laughing at us now. It is so bad slipping to third world status...
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Old 03-19-2012, 05:25 PM   #44
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The question still stands... what are we going to do with all these people that are suddenly living for 200+ years?

Kiss social security goodbye, for one. But more importantly, where are these people going to live? Soylent Green is now?
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Old 03-19-2012, 05:33 PM   #45
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The question still stands... what are we going to do with all these people that are suddenly living for 200+ years?

Kiss social security goodbye, for one. But more importantly, where are these people going to live? Soylent Green is now?
Put a cap on the number of children produced. Mankind has a reached a point in history where pretty much anything is possible now provided the research and funding goes into it. Im sure with enough bright minds, humans could save themselves from a world thats depleting in resources. We have the capability to do great things from this point on...but politicians play a huge role in limiting our expansion of great ideas.
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Old 03-19-2012, 05:34 PM   #46
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I don't want to pay taxes for 200+ years. Imagine going to school till your 50, then working 150 years.An marriage? F that.
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Old 03-19-2012, 05:35 PM   #47
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Put a cap on the number of children produced. Mankind has a reached a point in history where pretty much anything is possible now provided the research and funding goes into it. Im sure with enough bright minds, humans could save themselves from a world thats depleting in resources. We have the capability to do great things from this point on...but politicians play a huge role in limiting our expansion of great ideas.
put a cap on the number of children? Who is going to regulate the number of children I'm allowed to have? I come from large families, I think they're great, my wife and I want to have 6 children, and we have no financial limitations keeping us from that.

Now you're going to tell us that we're not allowed to have that many? Who the fvck are you to dictate how many children we're allowed to have?
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Old 03-19-2012, 05:39 PM   #48
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put a cap on the number of children? Who is going to regulate the number of children I'm allowed to have? I come from large families, I think they're great, my wife and I want to have 6 children, and we have no financial limitations keeping us from that.

Now you're going to tell us that we're not allowed to have that many? Who the fvck are you to dictate how many children we're allowed to have?
Or raise the age limit to have children. Im not one to answer that question because the problem hasnt presented itself yet but population control would need to be in check some way or another. Im not one for saying humans should live forever but 150-200 years would be nice. There is still a lot of things I would enjoy learning about in this universe but time is limited. Dont get so offensive. Besides, todays generation is all about having smaller families anyhow as society has changed its views.
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Had to turn off the TV... Fox was making more sense than anyone else.

The rest of the world must be laughing at us now. It is so bad slipping to third world status...
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Old 03-19-2012, 05:45 PM   #49
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Or raise the age limit to have children. Im not one to answer that question because the problem hasnt presented itself yet but population control would need to be in check some way or another. Im not one for saying humans should live forever but 150-200 years would be nice. There is still a lot of things I would enjoy learning about in this universe but time is limited. Dont get so offensive. Besides, todays generation is all about having smaller families anyhow as society has changed its views.
Just because "society" in some countries has changed its views, doesn't mean that those views are universal, or that they are beneficial. If a family chooses to not have kids, or to only have one child, that's their prerogative. But dictating to a family when and how many children they are allowed to have is despicable.
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Old 03-19-2012, 05:51 PM   #50
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Just because "society" in some countries has changed its views, doesn't mean that those views are universal, or that they are beneficial. If a family chooses to not have kids, or to only have one child, that's their prerogative. But dictating to a family when and how many children they are allowed to have is despicable.
Well it was just one of many possible answers to your question posed above. Whos to say that we cant sustain a large population where the average life expectancy is 150 years? Theres nothing wrong with science and Im sure we could find ways around potential population issues so that even folks like yourself can have large families.
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Old 03-19-2012, 06:30 PM   #51
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I'm just saying... be careful of science for the sake of science. Just because people can live to be 200, or 300, or older, doesn't mean that they should.
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Old 03-19-2012, 07:03 PM   #52
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I'm just saying... be careful of science for the sake of science. Just because people can live to be 200, or 300, or older, doesn't mean that they should.
What if you could choose to live a normal lifespan and those are who were interested, like myself, could choose the longer lifespan? Giving people the choice could also be a solution. As I said before, I have so much curiosity knowing myself, that I would love to discover and find meaning to...but I know my days are numbered.
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Had to turn off the TV... Fox was making more sense than anyone else.

The rest of the world must be laughing at us now. It is so bad slipping to third world status...

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Old 03-20-2012, 12:45 AM   #53
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This is a topic I think about every now and then. Given todays advances in medicine, personal care, entertainment, working conditions, and food nutrition at what point will the average age at death reach its max?
Just scanned the thread, so this might have been mentioned already. Many articles on obesity and the state of health in America propose that this may be the first generation to have shorter life expectancy than their parents.

A Potential Decline in Life Expectancy in the United States in the 21st Century
http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMsr043743
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Although the Social Security Administration recently raised its estimates of how long Americans are going to live in the 21st century, current trends in obesity in the United States suggest that these estimates may not be accurate. From our analysis of the effect of obesity on longevity, we conclude that the steady rise in life expectancy during the past two centuries may soon come to an end.
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Old 03-20-2012, 08:41 AM   #54
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Just scanned the thread, so this might have been mentioned already. Many articles on obesity and the state of health in America propose that this may be the first generation to have shorter life expectancy than their parents.

A Potential Decline in Life Expectancy in the United States in the 21st Century
http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMsr043743
What about non-obese individuals? We at least have a fighting chance?
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Old 03-20-2012, 09:06 AM   #55
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Old 03-20-2012, 09:26 AM   #56
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Aside from certain genetic conditions, there isn't really a reason for humans to not live to 80+. The problem is far too many people take sh*tty care of themselves.
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Old 03-20-2012, 09:46 AM   #57
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What about non-obese individuals? We at least have a fighting chance?
maybe this will be the offsetting factor that allows longer life? All the fatties die off at 50, while the healthy ones live to see 200. We'll see four, maybe five generations of fat people come and go in our lifetimes.

Maybe we can harness the power of the fat, and turn it into green energy?
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Old 03-20-2012, 01:04 PM   #58
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put a cap on the number of children? Who is going to regulate the number of children I'm allowed to have? I come from large families, I think they're great, my wife and I want to have 6 children, and we have no financial limitations keeping us from that.

Now you're going to tell us that we're not allowed to have that many? Who the fvck are you to dictate how many children we're allowed to have?
I think the people who create and execute the means to double or triple human life span would be the ones to dictate how many children the participating mass was allowed to produce. If you don't want to play by the rules...go die. For those who do...one or two kids may be allowed. Just a hypothetical guess.
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Old 03-20-2012, 01:11 PM   #59
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I think the people who create and execute the means to double or triple human life span would be the ones to dictate how many children the participating mass was allowed to produce. If you don't want to play by the rules...go die. For those who do...one or two kids may be allowed. Just a hypothetical guess.
Again... "one or two kids may be allowed". You're going to tell the populace what they are allowed to do in reference to reproduction. And you see no problem with this?

Is this going to be in the realm of forced contraceptives? Forced sterilization? Forced abortion? Or is the life-expanding drug going to also destroy your reproductive abilities as a "side effect"

Realistically, though, the most important word in there will probably just be "execute". As in, the best way to keep "over-producers" in line.
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Old 03-20-2012, 06:29 PM   #60
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It won't be forced. You would sign up for it. And probably pay money for it. Like you pay to have a licence to drive on public roads,but you can't just drive as fast as you want,or get a phone data plan that has a limit unlike previous unlimited plans from the past-for the common good of all people. You could pay for two life spans of living,but be allowed one life span of offspring-for the same common good of all people.
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