Jack Suri

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Jack Suri
Posted over 1 year ago
If the cure for mortality is found within your lifetime, would you go for it and become immortal?
The specific "cure" for mortality, regarding senescence at least, would be telomerase. (Just some background info): Every time one of our cells replicates itself, a bit of our DNA gets chopped of from the end, from a section of molecules called a telomere. Telomeres are mainly just meaningless DNA, but serve an important function as an aglet - a sort of protective cap that keeps any meaningful DNA from chopped off and also keep the entire strand from unraveling. Unfortunately, telomeres get worn away after about 50 cell divisions, so our cells stop replicating after ~49 divisions to avoid complete telomere erosion. That is senescence, the aging of our bodies as more and more cells stop replicating. (The "cure") Telomerase is an enzyme found naturally in some of our cells (stem and sex cells) that reconstructs our telomeres as they wear down, making those cells biologically immortal and overcoming senescence. The gene for manufacturing it is in all of our cells, but is simply deactivated in all but those aforementioned. (The catch) So, if we were to activate that enzyme in all of our cells, we would become - in theory - biologically immortal. In reality, if we were biological immortal, death by cancer would be inevitable simply because there's constant probability of developing cancer every moment of our lives in every one of our cells. The chances are, most people would develop cancer before they turn 120, or around that age. In conclusion, biological immortality is attainable, yet true immortality is likely unattainable; if not cancer, then a simpler, more physical cause would end your life, such as a car accident.