The Science of Immortality

There has always been an interest in remaining young: immortality in myths, the fountain of youth, plastic surgery. People have continued to search for a means of stopping the aging process to prolong life. Immortality may be impossible for humans, but there is a fresh water animal that does not seem to age.

Hydra

Photo: Hydra

Daniel Martinez was one of the first researchers to study hydras, of the phylum Cnidaria, at Pomona College. Martinez focused on the lack of senescence, “a deteriorative process that increases the probability of death of an organism with increasing chronological age.” Hydras undergo morphallaxis, tissue regeneration, which allows the genus to constantly renew its tissue.  Hydras’ tissue regenerates itself, copying the same cellular structure, allowing their cells to remain ageless.

With mortality rates low, caused often by environmental changes like food shortage or displacement, hydras are to be considered biologically immortal.

Click here to review Martinez’s initial case study on mortality in hydras.

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  • raidet

    Immortality is not “impossible for humans”, it's just difficult to achieve. And any difficult problem can eventually be solved with enough will and effort.

    • http://www.thecarnivalnoir.com Haystack

      I often wish that we were making the effort.

  • Hadrian999

    i would bet we will be as close to immortal as we can get in the next 30 years.
    i think the biggest problem will be mind health

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  • Pharaoh Atemu

    immortality is possible to achieve. we only need to isolate the main factors of our own geneology in order to figure out how and why we age. if we can isolate the cause then mabe we can stop the aging alltogether. what causes us to age? why do we age? those are the questions that need to be answered first. then breakdown those components and find a solution. if we can stop aging mabe we can prolong human life indefinately. i believe the stem cell has a secret to unveil yet as to the solution to immortality and i wish research would go into finding the cause of aging.

  • Pharaoh Atemu

    immortality is possible to achieve. we only need to isolate the main factors of our own geneology in order to figure out how and why we age. if we can isolate the cause then mabe we can stop the aging alltogether. what causes us to age? why do we age? those are the questions that need to be answered first. then breakdown those components and find a solution. if we can stop aging mabe we can prolong human life indefinately. i believe the stem cell has a secret to unveil yet as to the solution to immortality and i wish research would go into finding the cause of aging.