Immortality Is A Myth Essay

1299 Words 6 Pages
Register to read the introduction… When I asked S. Jay Olshansky, the professor of epidemiology at University of Illinois his opinion about technological advances and immortality, he said that “it’s easy to extend a person’s lifespan” but “immortality is not going to happen.” In the 1500s, the life expectancy was only thirty to forty years of age (Moody). Now it is in the eighties. The lifespan of a person is based on technology and not a magical pill. As time passes, the average lifespan of a person will grow because new discoveries will be made. Immortality though is just a myth. The recent scientific developments in the past years have brought up a few possibilities though. One of the promising ways is to try to use the enzyme telomerase to conquer the limit of somatic cell divisions to help slow down cell senescence (Lucke, and Hall). In 1961, Leonard Hayflick and Paul Moorhead discovered that cells made of developing tissues can only undergo mitosis, the division of cells, a limited amount of times (Magalhaes). Once they reach the point where they are no longer capable of dividing anymore yet still remain active, they begin to take on ageing effects (Kahn). For example, it takes on changes like the smooth skin of a baby to the wrinkly skin of an elder. These are called senescent cells. On the contrary, cancer cells can divide infinitely (Kent). The scientists who work for Geron Corporation made a major breakthrough in 1994 by finding out the functions of telomerase enzymes. This telomerase enzyme could be the secret key to unlocking immortality. This enzyme is found on the ends of chromosomes and appears to stop cellular aging by enabling cell division to continue indefinitely in cancer cells (Kent). The next step with this discovery is to take this concept and put it into normal cells. However, Judy Campisi, who has a PhD in biochemistry, said it “would be foolish to attempt to …show more content…
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