Eternal Life ... just not for us

December 13, 2004 13:00 by keithkaragan
I admit that I'm a sucker (well, sort of) for conspiracy theories and weird science. Not that I believe everything I hear, but a good story will perk up my ears and suck me into finding out more about it. I saw and posting on Slashdot about an article in Popular Science about Aubrey deGrey , who's side line is theorizing on the mechanics of the human body, and what makes it age to the point of death - and more importantly, what systems can be affected to halt the process (to summarize in a real simplistic way). He's not talking living to be 100 yrs old, but perpetual life - wild!
The premise is that the garbage collection system of the cell stops working correctly as you age, and this uncollected sewage is what basically causes the body to age and deteriorate. Outside of direct illness, the article mentioned that longevity would tap out at 120 or so - still not all that long when compared to the possibility of sticking around for 500, 1000, or 1500 years. The article can explain the details better than I.
If this scenario was to come to be a reality, the ethical issues of birth death, and reproductive rights would be enormous. Further, the impact on what you do, how live and conduct yourself are mind-boggling. What happens to the system of justice and criminal penalties? What are appropriate sentences for crimes? What about murder? Would a Death Penalty be the only deterrent in this scenario?
The article taps into the work he's doing, and supporting or encouraging and is a good read. I'll look forward to seeing what else in this vein comes into play in the near future.
more found stuff on Mr. deGrey:
-Live long and prosper ;-)
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