On of the things that holds humans back in the search for immortality is the fact that we can’t regenerate tissue and cells. We can heal and are not completely useless in the grand scheme of things. After all, when you cut yourself and create a wound, your skin will eventually develop scar tissue.
But this is a far cry from the limb and even organ regeneration that some other animals undergo. Science has yet to find a definitive answer for why we can’t regenerate, but it may have something to do with the fact that we are warm blooded (cold blooded creatures are better at regeneration) or the fact that we are so prone to cancer.
There are potential solutions though and when you consider that the person who discovers this is the person who discovers immortality, then you can appreciate how important it is.
As things stand, science is finding ways to continuously improve the effectiveness of regeneration techniques. One such method is known as Genetic Switching. Simply put, it asks the question, “If animal genes can regenerate, then why can’t we find a way to switch those genes with ours?”
Of course, it means that some part of us would, technically, be lizard or insectile in nature, but it’s a small price to pay for everlasting life.
Skin and organ regeneration is not just a gateway to immortality. It can also take thousands of patients off organ transplant lists, help to save the lives of countless more burn victims, and more. The vast majority of deaths are the result of some kind of organ failure, whether it’s a kidney or liver disease such as cancer, or a catastrophic failure such as a heart attack.
If you can find a way to instantly replace damaged and unhealthy organs with healthy ones, then you can remove those risks and ensure we all live a little longer. One of the ways science is trying to address this problem is via 3D printers. So far, these tools are used to print essential parts in manufacturing, as well as a host of gift-shop tat.
But research into how they can be used to print living tissue is well underway. We have considered growing organs in the past, but they are complex and an artificial one would never be as effective as a real one. But if we can map a living organ and recreate that tissue, then we can use 3D printers to create every inch of every organ in the human body.
The Chemical Option
Finally, there is a potential option that we are all a little more familiar with: drugs. Science has already discovered ways of altering the type of cells in the human body using chemicals. So, theoretically, it may be able to use the same technique to instantly heal a wound via a cream or to destroy cancer cells with a tablet.
It’s not as likely, but it’s certainly an option. And the fact that this is the least likely option shows you just how far we have come.