“It is death that gives urgency to life. It drives us to discovery, to cross oceans and reach into the emptiness of space” says the Herald Tribune columnist Rich Brooks (Thompson). The thought of being immortal is extremely alluring. To live in an ageless body, have all the time in the world to basically do whatever is something that every person has thought of. Immortality has always been a myth, but with technology continuing to advance everyday with alarming speed, it might soon be possible. Scientist Ray Kurzweil and many others have even predicted that this goal could be reach in the next twenty years. However, if sometime in the future scientists do discover a way to enable humans to live forever, behind all of the sugar coating,
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For example, the Chinese believe that the ancient flower, Hongjingtian, helps slow down the process of aging and improves mental agility ("Cultural China"). Even though many of these recipes have been lost over time, many are still used today. Modern scientists and drug companies are constantly creating new medications, supplements, and diets to live longer. Overcoming death is one of the many things that the human civilization has always been fascinated by.
With today’s modern technology, a longer lifespan is within reach and immortality only a couple steps away. 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