Despite the fact that we have eradicated many diseases with the help of treatments, life expectancy is not very optimistic for many people. We eat more processed foods, have more addictions and live more sedentary life-styles. Studies actually show that most of the illnesses that appeared in the past 100 years are a result of our poor decisions. Nevertheless, science is doing all it can to keep us humans alive as long as possible. The concept of immortality, which sounded like something fit for the gods a few centuries ago, might actually be more real than we thought. Let’s take a look at 4 Sci-Fi technologies that are moving us closer to immortality. They are the stepping-stones to, what we hope, will change our destinies in the future.
1. Reversing Paralysis
There are many afflictions in this world, but one of the most devastating one is injury to the spinal cord because it is the part of the body which carries information everywhere. In other words, if it stops working, everything else stops working. In the past, medicine could do nothing to remedy the damage inflicted on it, and for many victims it resulted to a complete loss of mobility and incredible pain. Modern medicine has discovered ground-breaking technology that works with the help of electrical impulses on the nervous tissue, to return voluntary movement to paralyzed patients. If it is combined with daily movement and therapy it can make running & walking a reality.
2. Reversing the Process of Aging
The list of incredible medical discoveries doesn’t stop here. Remember all those skin care commercials which promise that they will reverse the process of aging? While most of them do not work, there are a select few made from natural substances that actually render decent results. Following the footsteps of skin creams and super-food industries, a group of young scientists has discovered a chemical in the blood of young people that supposedly prevents the effects of old age.
The interesting thing about this discovery is that it is not only the result of one study, but of three separate ones. Nevertheless, the studies were conducted on mice so there is a lot of work to be done until the theory proves relevant for people. The good news is that in a few years we might be paving the way to genuine anti-aging injections.
3. Suspended Animation
Although it is popularly known as suspended animation, this technological break-through it actually called emergency preservation and resuscitation. What it basically does is to suspend life. It is one of the most important medical discoveries of the decade. The blood in the patient’s body is replaced with a cold, saline solution that induces a sort of hypothermia that severely slows cellular activity (it almost halts it). In other words, if you have a serious disease, or need more time for an operation, Suspended animation will give surgeons the time to fix your problem.
Peter Rhee, the medic who invented this technique, says that patients aren’t necessarily alive during the procedure. They’re not dead either. They are in a state of inertia which could be prolonged for years. This experiment was first demonstrated on three pigs. In their case, the hearts simply started again on their own, without any loss of cognitive or physical function.
4. Growing Body Parts
Have you ever considered the possibility of growing body-parts? We are talking about reality, not science-fiction. Although some things like interstellar travel, flying or food reduced to pills sound strange, the idea of actually growing and harvesting organs seems totally crazy. Reality is usually crazy, and it seems that medics are doing just this: they are growing organs in laboratories.
Besides the fact that their “crops” are anatomically correct, they also work. At the moment vaginas and nostrils have been successfully transplanted into humans. Women who were lost without, or with incomplete vaginas received artificially grown ones and were tracked for a period of 8 years. During that time, their new body parts worked seamlessly.
These discoveries are indeed amazing. They may be still far from immortality, but they represent stepping stones for future developments.