Saturday, November 19, 2011

Forever Young


After a certain age, the prospect of "living forever" loses a little of its appeal as fine lines become noticeable and weekly workouts turn into daily 90-minute marathon sessions that yield a fraction of the desired physical results. 


Mark Wexler




Not too recently I wrote that I would "Die Laughing," and while I added the caveat that I'd also spend the rest of my life "laughing," what I really meant was that in the face of death, I'd basically enjoy the ride. 


With the prospect of what cellular rejuvenation could do for humanity, I'm faced with again with the notion of how I want to spend my time in life. Interestingly enough, I still want to spend it the same way. This doesn't mean it's all giggles and guffaws, but rather a conscious choice to choose to see the lighter-side of life rather than perpetuate the energie associated with pain. 



Growing-up, I watched nothing but Sci-Fi movies and television shows. For Halloween, I dressed up as Wonder Woman and the Bionic Woman both. I told my family that when I grew up I was going to get bionic parts! Cellular rejuvenation is WAY better!


The Russian biologist and Nobel prize winner (1908), Elias E. Metchnikoff (1845-1916), would be jumping for JOY (were he alive today) for he'd no longer feel compelled to drink sour milk with the hopes of living longer. 

Metchnikoff's research in the emerging (at the time) study of aging and longevity was groundbreaking. His theory that aging was caused by toxic bacteria in the gut and that lactic acid could prolong life was met with scepticism from leading scientists like Louis Pasteur, Emil Adolf von Behring, and others. Still, were it not for him, we probably wouldn't have probiotics, which reportedly treat a wide array of gastrointentinal ills. 
  
Metchnikoff authored three fascinating books: The Nature of Man, The Prolongation of Life, and Immunity in Infectious Diseases, the last one wasn't exactly a page-turner for me, but I highly recommend The Prolongation of Life.


Scientists at Inserm's AVENIR (not to be confused with the font) "Genomic plasticity and aging" team, directed by Jean-March Lemaitre, have recently succeeded in rejuvenating cells from elderly donors (aged over 100). 


Basically, the old cells were reprogrammed in vitro to induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) and to rejuvenated and human embryonic stem cells (hESC): cells of ALL types can again be differentiated after this genuine "rejuvenation" therapy (ScienceDaily, Nov. 3, 2011). 


Imagine reversing the signs of aging without the aid of unnatural looking plastic surgery or ineffective magic creams in a bottle. 


This is the greatest discovery since sliced bread! Not only will we be able to live forever, but more importantly, there's real promise for living life as 20-year olds.


My grandmother always used to say, 

"If I knew then what I know now."   

I always hoped for an opportunity to answer that question for myself.


The meaning of life for us on this planet will be forever changed the moment we can successfully administer this treatment.


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