Genetics, which studies heredity and varied elements that come from parents, has facilitated the study of how and why gene variation occurs. The advances in research have been considered important in informing the differences across species to find the cure for diseases, which have plagued human history (Malaysia Healthcare 00:01 – 04:07). Scientists will most likely be allowed to modify human DNA that could be passed through generations. The groundbreaking steps are being considered amidst more research and tighter ethical restrictions. The conclusions will be more permissible for trial and will counter the long-standing taboos concerning human genes because they will be inherited by future generations (Malaysia Healthcare 00:01 – 04:07). With scientists seeking to change the course of evolution or conjure a dystopian future, the use of genetic alterations in elongating life spans is attracting more attention.
Background to the Study
Over the years, western religion encouraged creationism theory, which argues that God created all immutable species and the earth approximately 4000 BCE. However, advancements in the geological observation of species and fossil records have led to skepticism, which called for other explanatory theories (Malaysia Healthcare 00:01 – 04:07). The theory of genetics surfaced and the double helix structure laid groundwork for understanding modern molecular genetics. The progress of DNA sequencing technology ushered in the widespread acceptance of the genetic codes and their adaptation to the environment. As a result, humans have sought to increase their lifespan using advancements in scientific research and informatics (Malaysia Healthcare 00:01 – 04:07). Below are suggestions, which have been proposed to improve living conditions and increase global life expectancy to about 200 years.
Diet and Lifestyle
Eating to improve life expectancy is a choice that many have embraced apart from basic healthcare. Humans have realized the choice they wield in changing their lifestyles by avoiding noxious compounds, exercising regularly and taking anti-oxidant supplements (Life Extension 00:01 – 06:58). Caloric intake has also been reduced by 20 to 40% while consuming enough vitamins and nutrients. The lifestyle change is supported by research, which argues that dietary changes may lessen the degeneration of stem cells while reducing cancer incidences. The dietary trends have been recommended after tests in animals which positively confirmed that they offered a 40% life extension.
Pharmacogenetic tests will most likely be introduced among doctors to prescribe traditional medicines according to the genetic makeup of individuals. The tests are part of genetic therapy, which is currently under research (Life Extension 00:01 – 06:58). In future, stem cells will most likely be injected to repair damaged heart muscles or treat Alzheimers. The therapies will also be employed to control generative genes and prevent cellular decay. Research has suggested the slowing or reversal of the natural aging process using the telomerase enzyme that protects the chromosomes in human DNA.
Replacements and Augmentation
Damaged or diseased body parts are already replaced with prosthetic or donated human organs. Cybernetic limbs controlled by bionic neurons and brain interphases are in the stages of advanced developments (Life Extension 00:01 – 06:58). In the future, animals such as pigs will be humanized with human DNA to facilitate the transfer of their organs into people. The next decade will also make it easy to replace human organs using bioprinting of organs drawn from the culture of a person’s cells. As a result, the chances of death from organ failure will most likely be reduced. Bodily augmentation at the microscopic level will also increase life expectancy. For example, medical nanobots which detect disease or deliver specific drugs are being developed (Life Extension 00:01 – 06:58). Over time, generic nanobots will be injected to act as supplementary cybernetic antibodies. The bots will roam bloodstreams to destroy infections and mutated cells.
Companies offering the service of freezing a person’s body when they die have flourished. Interested individuals are persons who hope that with time, techniques will be developed to reanimate them by curing diseases which killed them using nanobots (TEDx Talks 00:01 – 20:29). The damage resulting from the freezing process will also be corrected to ensure that their resuscitation is successful. Insurance to pay for the suspension of bodies costs about thirty thousand dollars a month. If successful, thousands or millions of people will be frozen in vast cocoons awaiting their second coming.
The life extension process enters the realm of future fantasy using new interfaces to upload human mind and memory into computers. By processing consciousness, people will live forever by downloading their minds into a succession of robotic or bio-printed bodies (Nachbauer 00:01 – 22:45). Alternatively, the individuals could also roam eternally across the internet. The age of 200 years will be possible for young persons who can afford the offerings of technologies. The trends have embraced digital immortality of persons over the web.
Because genetics enable professionals to identify genetic differences and the addictive effects of a patient’s health, medical treatments have been tailored to complete the unique genetic codes of individuals. Genetic knowledge has been combined with computer technology and modern bioinformatics to facilitate the analysis of individual patient genomes (Nachbauer 00:01 – 22:45). The sequencing of the human genome has been explored and will most likely be used to understand health, disease, and aging. Knowledge of genetic engineering or alteration of genetic materials will most likely create more efficient humans. The genetically engineered human organs will lower the costs of replacing human body parts and chemicals.
In sum, genetics is breaking boundaries in lifespan elongation to create genetically superior persons who can outlive previous generations. The advancements in healthcare are creating a world where the privileged and affluent can capitalize on high-tech procedures to earn a second chance at life or acquire superior biological advantages. Using gene alterations and therapies to prevent and treat diseases or enhance lifespan is intended to make healthy persons who can outlive diseases. Methods of gene therapy will hopefully replace or remove defective genes, which cause diseases. The targeted blend of technology, informatics, and genetic engineering will be effective in advancing human life spans. The limits of science are being stretched to ensure that humans capitalize on the genetic knowledge pooled over the years to lead better lives.
- Life Extension. Explaining the Future. Online video clip. YouTube, uploaded by Life Extension, 24 November 2011. www.youtube.com/watch?v=FHR3dKNq4xw&t=191s.
- Malaysia Healthcare. “Future of Healthcare by Microsoft.” YouTube, uploaded by Malaysia Healthcare, 12 April, 2011, www.youtube.com/watch?v=ll5eVtvBvS4.
- Nachbauer Titus. Transhuman – Do you want to Live Forever? (full documentary film).” YouTube, uploaded by Titus Nachbauer 16 June, 2013, www.youtube.com/watch?v=3PAj2yorJig.
- TEDx Talks. What Healthcare will Look Like in 2020 | Stephen Klasko | TEDxPhiladelphia. YouTube, uploaded by TEDx Talks, 17 November 2014, www.youtube.com/watch?v=esugL07XANg.