All over the world initiatives have been taken and many multinational giants are funding these ambitious projects. Google has established an independent biotech company - Calico LLC to combat aging and related diseases. Human Longevity, Inc is another big name in the field. Peter Thiel, PayPal co-founder has invested many millions in such endeavors. Larry Ellison, co-founder of Oracle has donated several million dollars for this purpose. Naturally, these super rich people would like to live longer. They are successful and they have every reason for this. From the point of view of the benefit of the humankind also, they have started and supported such projects. The results are promising but the actually desired results are yet to arrive, hopefully.
The medical science has done a lot for the longevity of the human race. In 1800 the average life expectancy in the US was just 35 years and now it is around 75-80 years. So if the longevity gets doubled in 200 years, in coming days, most of us would be centenarians hopefully. But the million dollar question is whether this rate of growth of the longevity could be maintained and how?
Among the aging agents In our bodies, the role of free radicals is very big. They cause damage to cells, make them diseased and trigger their death. To fight with this, our body has a self-defence system of antioxidants that resist and slows down the process triggered by free radicals. Naturally, antioxidants are a big hope.
Taking low-calorie diet is another way to slow down the aging process. If we cut down our calorie intake by 30% and still maintain the supply of necessary nutrients, we could expect enhanced longevity. The simplest way is to follow a well-designed food plan. But many of us find such things very tough to follow. But still, there is hope.The scientists are trying to understand the phenomenon in detail so that it could be replicated in a pill. Possibly, they do it one day.
Some scientists believe in singularity. They say that in future our human bodies would mix up with machines. Blood and flesh are not durable materials. Hence we could probably be having silicone implants and other such things as our organs. This will increase our lifespan dramatically. If we see, actually it is happening to some extent. But such a massive and generalized use of this idea so that we could replace our vital organs with machines has yet not come.
It is probably more horrible than amazing that some scientists plan to take the backup of our brains in some hard discs so that we could be immortal. Our bodies could die, but our brain would keep working through some computer and in that way, we would never die.
It is not that all the researchers agree with the idea of the maximum longevity for us. Some think it could be around 125 years, yet many others think it could certainly go as high as 500 to 1000 years. Well, let us believe the latter is more correct. So if it happens, our society would be that of supercentenarians.
In India, we have always talked about our rishis who lived for 500 to 1000 years and even more. We have a concept of the Amrit (nectar) taking which one becomes immortal. The well-known story of Maharshi Chyavan talks about the same will to regain the youth. It is said that Ashwini Kumars who are the Vaidyas(doctors) of the deities, made a medicine namely Chyavanprash that returned youth to Maharshi Chyavan.It means the wish to live young and to live forever is not new. People of all times have thought of it and worked in this direction.
Living so long actually would change our society and values totally. It would be a new era. Everything would just change.There would be no way to look at life in the same way we have been looking at. People would have more and more chances to relive the moments. They would have a chance to amend themselves. There would be no hurry and no rat race. To a good extent, people would become careless, too.Life would become cool and at ease. People would dream and develop, learn and live to have probably a lesser number of reasons to repent.In a short lifespan of 70-80 years, where we do not have that much strength and opportunities, we cannot expect such miracles.
As a rule of thumb, there is a dark side, too. If there would be no fear of death or say no fear of a short lifespan, many people could become inert. Change comes out from the inside and if someone is not taking any initiatives, no matter if he lives for a thousand years, he is not going to change substantially. So a criminal would be a criminal and a mad would be a mad and a terrorist would be a terrorist. Is it not horrible? Just think from this perspective. We can just hope that if the longevity could be handled, even the anti-social elements could be made social through some sort of technology. But still, will it not be inhuman to control the brain of someone, even if he is a criminal.
But life itself is not what we could imagine. It has been a mystery and would be ever. It is something that could not be known fully. Only time would tell what exactly the impacts of this great longevity and who knows physical immortality would have. But, life is good. Whatsoever our longevity is, the charm of life would always be there.