In Search of Eternal Life: Rejuvenation Theories
The entire history of mankind is the persistent and desperate search of never-ending youth and eternal life. Have we succeeded? Not yet, but we have gone quite far on the way, and maybe we are just one pace away from immortality. Let’s look back to the unwinding spiral of human attempts to fight aging and death.
Ancient Rejuvenation Theories
Two major theories of ancient Greece were that aging is caused by the loss of fire element (heat) and water element (moist). The remedies ranged from reasonable ones to rather exotic.
Pythagoras diet. Ancient philosopher and mathematician Pythagoras believed that a special diet could prevent the loss of heat. His diet was low in calories and did not include meat. He thought digesting of meat takes too much energy and cause the body to lose heat.
Shunnamitism. Shunnamits believed that sleeping with young virgin girls can restore youth.
Keeping moisture. Applying oils and balms have used from ancient times until now for improving blood circulation and retaining moisture. These methods are still popular in modern cosmetology.
Rejuvenation with blood. Bathing in blood was known in antic times. Medea elixir included blood.
Transplantation and Vivisection in Rejuvenation Theories
Transplantation of monkey testicles to man, Serge Voronoff, France
Heterochronic parabiosis, Clive McCoy, USA: stitching old and young mice together to unite their blood flow. It was meant that the older mouse had to become younger.
Stanford research, Weissman, Rando, USA
Stem cells in rejuvenation, Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology, Harvard
Stem cells are those cells that are able to divide. In cosmetology, stem cells of plants are used to restore exhausted and damaged skin.
Other Modern Rejevenuation Theories
Hormesis: Utilizing of intoxication, over-strengthening, low-dose radiation, and other shock impacts
Fasting and low-calorie diets
Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence (SENS), Aubrey de Grey: complete replacement of all damaged elements and cleaning all waste products.
Pharmacological imitation of low-calorie diet (rapamicin, metformin, spermine, etc.).
Geroprotectors (system medicines) and senolytics (elimination of senescent cells).
21st century reveals many promising anti-aging technologies. We are not immortal yet, but there is something to think about:
In the 18th century, life expectancy was 33-40 years in England and 41 years in Japan, and in 2017, it was 72.2 years at average all over the world (data.worldbank.org).
Dr. Aubrey de Grey insists that the man who is going to live 1000-year-long life has been born already.