Imagine living in a world where people did not grow old. There would be no wrinkles, no grey hair, or people would get a lot less Botox. The quest for eternal life has captivated mankind throughout history. Literature from as long ago as 1800 BC, tell stories of people seeking immortality. For many years, scientists have been trying to find out why cells grow and die. The search for a first human with the potential to live forever. Some expect this could happen after 2050, yet, the statistic for aging says, “It has already been happening as populations live longer every year”.
In the early 1900s, most people would not live more than 50 years, but someone born today has a life expectancy of approximately 150 years of age. This trend shows no sign of slowing down. It is predicted within the next 40 years; the average life expectancy will increase in numbers according to the National Institute on Aging.
With the medical advances, today to prevent deaths and allowing us to manage certain diseases, although not every nation has access to the medicines and health care that a so-called first world country has.
Scientific studies even see aging itself as just a disease. They believe it can be treated, like any other, or cured altogether. Using nanotechnology could advance lifespan longer than ever. The recent scientific breakthrough means that the first immortal humans are already living among us. In 2009, Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn, Carol Greedier, and Jack Szostak discovering the increase of telomerase by using nanotechnology.
Telomerase is vital to the understanding of immortality because it could provide the key to everlasting life. Whenever a cell divides and renews itself, the telomere shortens. For humans, this can happen 50 to 60 times before cell dies. Nanotechnology with telomerase can create new stem cells to replace bad cells in the human body. Organisms with higher levels of telomerase can maintain their telomere length and increases the number of times that cells can regenerate. A team of scientist in the National Cancer Center genetically engineered mice that produce 10 times as much telomerase as normal. These mice live twice if normal, and then we apply this theory to a human. Research into nanotechnology helps eradicate deadly diseases, like cancer which would be a huge leap on immortality. Inventor and futurist Ray Kurzweil predict humans could have nanobots installed in their veins. These microscopic computers will perform constant cell maintenance or even repair of failing organs. Hypothetically, a human using this nanotechnology could live as long the software is working. This is not just a theory. Researches using nanotechnology to treat illnesses, and even cured ovarian cancer in the laboratory mice since 2009. The generation of using nanotechnology combine with telomerase now provide a life immortal which stops the effect of aging.
Since the nanotechnology is available today, it brings several effects to the entire world’s population. With unlimited years on the horizon, people finally have time to write their novel; learn a second language; or spend a year abroad; but while some would be driven to soak up every infinite minute. Others may be less motivated than ever. After all, some people will be lazy, just sleep in until noon every day, and even spend several hours watching their favorite show. Important tasks can always be left for tomorrow because tomorrow will always arrive. The people in the United States often retire sometime in their 60s. Since nanotechnology is here, chances are humans will never be able to save up enough money to retire forever. Most people will just keep working, due to financial obligations. A world where nobody retires though; there would likely be fewer occupations to fill; which poses a problem for younger generations in need of steady work. Certain companies may force older people out of their jobs in hope of bringing in fresh blood. With no maternal clock ticking, people are likely to wait for a certain age to get married and start a family.
Since immortality event occurred, a dramatic change in our society. The most significant and obvious dilemma, society would face is how to deal with an overpopulated planet. As of 2019, there are over 7.5 billion people living on earth. Many argue that we are already too crowded; but with this new-found technology, it becomes an immeasurable problem if death never exists. On top of escalating unemployment, resources will become increasingly sparse promoting worldwide starvation, homeless, and poverty. Finding a solution to overpopulation, laws, and customs will become controversial. Voluntary euthanasia has sparked several ethical debates in the previous years since dying is off the table. Many people may change their minds about physician-assisted suicide. Another impact of this immortality would significantly reduce businesses such as funeral and health care industry. If no one dies of natural causes; there is no one to bury, no funerals to arrange, and no casket to sell. Some crises in several areas like natural resources would be depleted at an alarming rate, which fossil fuel would be used up much more quickly. Another effect is the food industry would have to turn to heavily process and cheaply manufactured food potentially causing even more widespread on nutritional problems. With the increasing population in our society, a government can lead to civil unrest for resources for food and land.
With nanotechnology, people could come up with one potential solution to limit childbirth or ban it completely. Similarly, to ongoing debates on issues like abortions and birth control, though individuals would likely have vastly varying opinions on the number of children. Government and policies will likely differ between nations since overpopulation is a global issue. Different laws and opinions may lead to war, although acts of violence would obviously lose a lot of impact without a threat of death. Perhaps the best and most popular solution would be for humanity to build new habitable environments. There has been a constant discussion about colonizing the moon or mars, and NASA will have humans orbiting the red planets by this year. Other options include colonizing on a purpose-built space station as well as seeking out new worlds that humankind could inhabit.
In the wake of the new technology, our immortality will be developed, accommodate the larger and longer-lived population. Nanotechnology progress would likely increase the demand for new innovations that will grow with the increased population. The immortality allows pursuing new hobbies and skills for decades instead of being limited. Longer lives would allow scientists and innovators more time to perfect studies and develop new ideas.