• Question: Do you think that one day we will be able to live forever? If not, how long do you think we could live for?

    Asked by adamw to John, Ken, Vicky on 22 Mar 2012.
    • Photo: John Prytherch

      John Prytherch answered on 22 Mar 2012:

      Maybe one day. I think the likeliest way would be if we learn enough about how our brains work, and make computers fast enough, that we could upload our brains into a computer. It’s much easier to keep computers and machines going for long times than it is soft, vulnerable flesh bodies!

      Our life expectancy has increased a lot in recent times from advances in medicine, but there are real challenges in increasing it a lot more, key organs like our brains just aren’t designed to last for ever.

    • Photo: Vicky Young

      Vicky Young answered on 22 Mar 2012:

      Right now scientists are estimating that your generation could live to about 150 years old due to improvements in healthcare and lifestyle which is amazing! I don’t know if we will be able to live forever but scientists are finding out more and more about the aging process and with this information could be able to slow the aging process in the future.

      One key player in aging is telomeres. Telomeres are the bits of DNA at the end of a chromosome and these protect the DNA in each chromosome. As we get older the telomeres get smaller and smaller so give less protection. Scientists think this is a major player in the aging process and that if we can stop the telomeres getting shorter then we could maybe slow the aging process. Its all very cool science. But would you really want to live forever?

    • Photo: Ken Dutton-Regester

      Ken Dutton-Regester answered on 22 Mar 2012:

      Yeah, I think the question comes down to whether you would want to and what your quality of life would be once you hit past 100. As far as I see it, even if we could cure all cancers (which would probably be the most signficant hurdle to get past) and diseases didn’t affect us, unless you had a perfect healthy lifestyle (i.e. eat well and don’t drink- this rules me out immediately) I think by the time you would reach 100 you would be very old and immobile. Would you really want to sit in a chair and live longer just because you could? I would rather party and have an enjoyable life than sacrifice that to try and have a shot at living to 150. Unless we can invent some crazy age reversing thing, or regeneration cell technolgoy but I think that would be a far way off.