Can we live longer?
Death is a natural part of life, but finding ways to delay it for as long as possible has preoccupied mankind since before recorded history. While there are many questions in science that may not be answered for some time, this is not one of those questions. When you look at the life expectancy of the average person, it’s obvious that it has increased over time. As technology and medicine has increased so to has the average life expectancy for people. Can we live longer? The answer to this question is yes. But how much longer can we live? What kinds of advancements in technology will we see in the coming years that will allow us to extend the average human life span? Can we in fact stop the aging process altogether?
There are several approaches that scientists are currently undertaking in an attempt to improve how long we can live. There are some scientists who are currently working on understanding the mechanism of aging. They believe that given enough time it is possible to figure out how to turn off the genetic switch that causes cells to quit reproducing. If they can ever unlock this puzzle then it may in fact be possible to stop the aging process.
While some scientists seek to unlock the secret of the aging process, others seek a way to slow down the process. Stem cell research and cloning technology may make it possible one day to replace old or damaged tissues with new ones. Unfortunately there is a lot of controversy surrounding stem cell research. What makes stem cells so unique is the fact that they are the building blocks for every other cell in our bodies. If scientists can figure out how to manipulate and program stem cells, they could then literally grow replacement parts for our bodies.
Can we live longer? The answer to this question is yes, but this question in turn poses other questions that we must find answers to. What happens if we double or triple the human life span? How do we deal with overcrowding and the limited resources that will become an issue because of a growing population. Figuring out how extend the human life span seems like a great idea. After all who wouldn’t want to live longer, especially if you could be healthy while living longer? However before we start to help people live longer, finding solutions to the potential overcrowding that would result would be in our best interests.