Okay, so not forever (yet), but 30% longer. Still, cool news in science.
By triggering a certain gene, scientists have increased the life span of some fruit flies by 30%. Basically, age makes us more susceptible to health problems as it our bodies lose the ability to regulate process and prevent disease. This gene, when activated, helps stave off that decline. So not only would the life span be 30% longer, it would add healthy years… and that’s pretty cool (especially if you’ve ready any fables about foolish heroes wishing for everlasting life and living a decrepit existence for the rest of eternity).
Researcher David Walker had the following to say:
We are not there yet, and it could, of course, take many years, but that is our goal and we think it is realistic.
The ultimate aim of our research is to promote healthy aging in people.
Of course, this is an example of playing with genetics, and we all know how insanely complex the human body is. Will this have other repercussions that we don’t know about yet? And even if it is as good as it sounds, what then? I’m always curious about the consequences of scientific advancement. 30% longer life spans wouldn’t have that big of an impact on the world… surely? Or would we see an increase in overpopulation? Or something else?
What do you think, readers? What are the best and worst case scenarios? Give me your thoughts!