TED Conversations

This conversation is closed.

Could we study cancer as a means of obtaining immortality in humans?

Cancer, the deadliest disease known to man, may just extend our lifetimes. Think about it, cancer is so deadly because cancer cells are immortal. They just keep multiplying and multiplying and none of the cancer cells die because they don have the 30 multiplications bio clock that normal cells have. So, if we could somehow study and decode cancer in such a way that the human genome could be modified for extended lifetime or immortality purposes, we could all avoid death, at least, for a very long time. What do you folks think?

Topics: cancer

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • Jan 6 2013: Kevin,
    I am not "up to speed" on the recent interest in immortality. Why are you and others interested? Help me understand why this topic and discussion of immortality is important.

    I do agree we humans should continue research to rid us of disease. Would a complete eradication of all diseases actually result in immortality? Are there not other factors preventing immortality?

    You use the words "avoid death". As I understand, death is merely a graduation from human level of life to the next level, which I understand, is profoundly different and far more attractive regarding relationships and personality progress.

    But first, to understand desire for immortality here on this life level.

    Your response is kindly solicited.
    • Jan 6 2013: I don't want to turn this into a religious argument, but I don't believe in a "next level." This is partly why I, personally, am so interested in this field. We have made much progress in terms of tissue regeneration and organ growing, so why not take it even further as to expand the human lifetime.Now, I wouldn't suggest trying to eradicate disease because that would slowly make the generations prone to any new strain of virus or bacteria that may pop up.
      • Jan 6 2013: OK. Thanks for the clarification. Maintaining this life level as long as possible, if understand you correctly. Are you actually visualizing immortality? My understanding of immortality is never a death.

        Let's see what others say with this new clarification.
        • Jan 6 2013: Well, if our cells behaved more like a cancer, with the exception of rampant growth, we could, in theory live a very long time, however, we would be limited by how much information our brains could store. So, we would live a very long time, but eventually, our brains would reach their limit in terms of data storage. This may be solved by computer interface technology.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.