Scientist Claims Immortality Within Reach

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Just great, if the government sees this, the retirement age will be bumped from 65 to 145. ;)

Molecular Biologist Dr Bill Andrews told TV ONE's SUNDAY programme that humans shouldn't have to suffer from the ravages of ageing. He says that ageing is a disease that should, and could be cured. The 63-year-old American believes that he could live till he's 150.
 

temujin987

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that may some day be possible, but only for an elite few. the rest is expendable.
 

pothb

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If I can live til 150 and not feel like shit for most of it (better if all) then I'd go for it, but I can see this being for the "few".
 

Spidey329

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Two Things:

- His basic theory is correct about Telomeres and has been taught for a long time.
- His statement falls apart with this key sentence:

"believes that he can find a small molecule that will trigger the production of Telomerase in the body"

Meaning he hasn't found it. So no news is news?


If he did, what would happen is that a BigPharma company would purchase (or acquire) the patent for such a product. They would then put such a high price on it that only the upper echelon of rich people could afford it.


TLDR; This doesn't affect us common folk.
 

AceGoober

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Pfizer is going to make bank if the average human age is extended.
 

Pieter3dnow

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Two Things:

- His basic theory is correct about Telomeres and has been taught for a long time.
- His statement falls apart with this key sentence:

"believes that he can find a small molecule that will trigger the production of Telomerase in the body"

Meaning he hasn't found it. So no news is news?


If he did, what would happen is that a BigPharma company would purchase (or acquire) the patent for such a product. They would then put such a high price on it that only the upper echelon of rich people could afford it.


TLDR; This doesn't affect us common folk.
It does not matter anyway the people who will live a lot longer or forever still get bogged down by simple things as power and money.

Btw if he discovers it he could just plunge the patent rights into public domain :)
 

MartinX

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Yeah, I don't think there's much new here.

And he also doesn't address that protecting/replacing telomeres isn't the hard part, for it to actually matter you have to cure cancer too.

Even with no telomere degradation, every time a cell replicates that there is a tiny chance it will mutate and become corrupted, multiplied by bazillions of replications multiplied by time = total cancer.

And I'm not talking centuries here.

Within a normal lifespan your chances of getting cancer of some kind are pretty high, even if you you do the things proven to reduce cancer risk (don't smoke, eat healthy, exercise, avoid excess UV light and don't visit 4chan), you're still more likely to get it than not. Even if "Aging" is fixed, you'll still be lucky to live 50 -100 years beyond current normal lifespan, before you get some form of terminal cancer.

Beyond that there's a wide range of things that kill humans which are relatively unlikely to happen in a normal lifespan, but will tend towards certainty over a longer timeline.

If cancer doesn't kill you, you'll be hit by a drunk driver, or slip in the shower and bust open your head, be eaten by hyenas, get murdered because you banged your neighbors hot 98 year old wife, or get ebola or some some shit.

Basically immortality is statistically impossible.

Obviously a longer, healthier life would be cool and I'd totes be up for that, but I think people overestimate the societal impact it would have.
 

Yakk

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Just reads like a search for more funding to me.

Scientists looking to fund their research projects are almost a dime a dozen these days...
 

evilsofa

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If he did, what would happen is that a BigPharma company would purchase (or acquire) the patent for such a product. They would then put such a high price on it that only the upper echelon of rich people could afford it.


TLDR; This doesn't affect us common folk.
If BigPharma conspiracy is your pleasure, then this would be an incredibly short-sighted plan. You would want to milk the middle and poor classes by treating their chronic health conditions for many decades longer than you ever could before.
 

WaltC

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Ah, the Fountain of Youth...it has snake-oil appeal in every age, and there is never any lack of people willing to hawk the idea for fun & profit (emphasis on 'profit')...;) To date, though, none of the "potions" have accomplished anything that's even remotely measurable.
 

potency

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Two Things:

- His basic theory is correct about Telomeres and has been taught for a long time.
- His statement falls apart with this key sentence:

"believes that he can find a small molecule that will trigger the production of Telomerase in the body"

Meaning he hasn't found it. So no news is news?


If he did, what would happen is that a BigPharma company would purchase (or acquire) the patent for such a product. They would then put such a high price on it that only the upper echelon of rich people could afford it.


TLDR; This doesn't affect us common folk.

True, but it probably wouldn't take long for China to figure it out and / or steal the secrets, at which point they would likely welcome anyone to come get said genetic treatment at a much lower cost than any crooked Western corporation.
 

HeavensCloud

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Can the aliens that apparently look just like us live forever too? These "scientists" nowadays...
 

Ducman69

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Can the aliens that apparently look just like us live forever too? These "scientists" nowadays...
In the scientists defense, they don't say anything about immortality. They simply argue that they can massively reduce the effect of aging, so that you'd reach maturity and pretty much look the same until some other cause of death, rather than consistently dying and degrading consistently due to replication issues which some animals don't suffer from.

For example, trees can continue living and growing almost indefinitely if they are lucky enough, with some being many hundreds of years old. There was a lobster found that was also over 140 years old. Heck there was a 51.5 lb lobster found in the 1920s, and since we know that lobsters don't really age per se they just slowly grow larger and larger over time so who knows how old that lobster was... maybe hundreds of years old. Some turtles really don't age either, and a turtle that is 120 years old is just as healthy as a 20 year old turtle. And glass sponges can apparently live for about 15K years.

So people would still die in car crashes, from cancer, from ebolAIDS, eating poisoned Chinese food, shot in a driveby, etc, but it would be pretty awesome if some people could be 120 years old and just as fit and healthy as a 20 year old, even if not truly immortal.
 

jiminator

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not to worry, if the technology is ever developed the elite that get to use it will need the herd animal humans to support their immortal lifestyle. the rest of us will continue to die as normal
 

flegg

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LMAO this is hilariously stupid. Giving a person cancer is unlikely to make them immortal. Telomerase is a feature of advanced cancers that allow them to survive while rapidly dividing. Obviously it's more complicated than that but just to give you guys some perspective.
 

flegg

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Some cancer tissue is essentially immortal, but... eh why am I even wasting time going into this
 

nilepez

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Two Things:

- His basic theory is correct about Telomeres and has been taught for a long time.
- His statement falls apart with this key sentence:

"believes that he can find a small molecule that will trigger the production of Telomerase in the body"

Meaning he hasn't found it. So no news is news?


If he did, what would happen is that a BigPharma company would purchase (or acquire) the patent for such a product. They would then put such a high price on it that only the upper echelon of rich people could afford it.


TLDR; This doesn't affect us common folk.
True at first, but eventually, the patent would end, and the prices would fall. If I have the money to travel and do something other than work all the time, then living forever might be fun. But if it's a 150 year work slog...maybe not. For now, I'll go with it might be nice to live a long life...but only if your friends live too and/or you're able to roll with the massive changes that will occur over that period of time. I'm not sure that many born 150 years ago would have cope well with the 2010s. Music changes alone would drive them crazy.
 
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Who really wants to live 200 years unless they are rich? I mean if you are living fairly pay to pay it would stink. In every movie where someone is Immortal they have money but in reality I doubt it.
 

Ducman69

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Who really wants to live 200 years unless they are rich? I mean if you are living fairly pay to pay it would stink. In every movie where someone is Immortal they have money but in reality I doubt it.
The older you get, if you remain healthy, the easier it is to accumulate wealth.
 

Yakk

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Who really wants to live 200 years unless they are rich? I mean if you are living fairly pay to pay it would stink. In every movie where someone is Immortal they have money but in reality I doubt it.
Bigger carrot of the impossible dream for the "middle class"...
 

nilepez

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Who really wants to live 200 years unless they are rich? I mean if you are living fairly pay to pay it would stink. In every movie where someone is Immortal they have money but in reality I doubt it.
I mostly agree, but upon reading this,it occurred to me that if you could learn, then after enough time, you might be able to educate yourself enough to move up. Still, if you're working all the time, then it's not a great deal (unless you love your job). I really think the biggest challenge is we get more rigid in our thinking as we age, and that makes coping in a modern world harder for many (if not most) people.
 

evilsofa

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/thread win

I love that story! Its like Terminator... needs an actual good modern remake!
There is a Highlander remake is in the works. Whether it will be good is another question entirely. They seem to be having trouble finding actors willing to fake an orgasm after beheading other men. That was awkward even before the era of ISIS beheadings.
 
D

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Who really wants to live 200 years unless they are rich? I mean if you are living fairly pay to pay it would stink. In every movie where someone is Immortal they have money but in reality I doubt it.
Basically it comes down to quality of life.

If you're relatively youthful and healthy and active, living longer isn't such a bad proposition.

But, if you're withered and senile and shitting yourself, yeah, please, take two of these:



And DON'T call me in the morning!
 
D

Deleted member 126051

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No. Knowing Hollywood's penchant for turning every "remake" into a comedy, it'll be almost as horrible as Highlander II, III, IV, and V. The only redeeming feature these movies had was that three basically ripped off the original movie wholesale and was a complete retread.

And please, don't let Tim Burton and Johnny Depp ANYWHERE near the same continent with it!
 

harsaphes

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Why would I want to live to be 145 years old? I'm already bored on a three day weekend.
 

Epic|

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Who really wants to live 200 years unless they are rich? I mean if you are living fairly pay to pay it would stink. In every movie where someone is Immortal they have money but in reality I doubt it.
It's not even difficult for middle classers to accumulate large/self-sustaining amounts of invested funds long before we die. Living longer and healthier would make that task easier.
Though planning for seriously crashed markets becomes more relevant, I guess.
 

Ducman69

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It's not even difficult for middle classers to accumulate large/self-sustaining amounts of invested funds long before we die. Living longer and healthier would make that task easier.
Though planning for seriously crashed markets becomes more relevant, I guess.
Yup, and honestly it'd be better for society. As human knowledge keeps advancing, it takes longer and longer and longer for a person to master even a tiny specific fraction of it in their lifetime, to the point that for about 16 years at least most people are borderline retarded, and you don't really scratch the surface of understanding much until you're around 30. That's a huge percentage of someone's life expectancy that they aren't all that useful, and for the most part a burden on society. And then you have another long period of time on which the natural decay process of human aging again makes you a burden again.

So if you could eliminate aging and extend lifespans, with people dying of other causes and not slowly going "downhill" as they age, then average quality of life and total economic output would massively increase.

The real problem though would be that we already have exponential human population growth rates, most often from the least successful people on the planet... so you'd probably need to surgically drop some neutron bombs on select areas to cull the population to maybe around 5 billion and try to maintain that so we don't have to live like sardines and take too huge a toll on limited available resources on the planet.
 
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