Straight out of an episode from Netflix’s dystopian series Black Mirror, some researchers are looking to reverse the effects of aging and preserve human consciousness digitally!
Black Mirror is an anthology television series where most episodes are a cautionary tale on the dangers of technology and human reliance to it. There is actually more than one episode on the topic of uploading human consciousness to a digital platform and the ethics of doing so.
A 2021 study published in the journal Nature Communications claims that the human brain is in fact capable of staying active until the age of 150!
Biologically though, this standard is impossible, according to findings from The Conversation. The human body simply cannot last that long. The longest living person on record was a French woman named Jeanne Calment who was born in 1875 and died in 1997 at the tender age of 122!
Current technology simply has not reached the point where the body can survive as long as the brain theoretically can. However, that is not stopping scientists from trying.
The Harvard Medical School’s Sinclair Lab, which focuses on the science of aging, has been working on research in mice that could regenerate cells to reverse the effects of growing older. Through testing, the Sinclair Lab was able to successfully restore the vision of elderly mice.
Founder of the lab Dr. David Sinclair, Ph. D., A.O. said, “Our study demonstrates that it’s possible to safely reverse the age of complex tissues such as the retina and restore its youthful biological function,” Sinclair said.
Digitizing human consciousness is something that was previously thought of as science fiction… and it’s still probably reaching for the stars, medically. Technology has come a long way, but there’s still even longer to go when it comes to something as technically complicated as the human brain.
In the last 200 years life expectancy has grown exponentially. According to Statista, When looking back to 1860 the average life expectancy was just 39 years old, 100 years later in 1960 that number went up to 69 years old, and as of 2020 that number is 78. Who knows what scientists will be able to achieve in another 100 years?
Perhaps it is worth spotlighting that currently the Anti-Aging Industry is worth $58.5 billion annually. That number speaks to the want and desire to slow the sands of time to look and feel young. The question then becomes, just because we can, does that mean we should?
While you mull that over, take a listen to Forever Young by Alphaville!