Peter Thiel, co-founder of Paypal, does not look at death as inevitable, but akin to many other challenges in life. Mortality is simply one of the great challenges that has yet to be overcome. Mr. Theil told Business Insider in 2012 that “Death is a problem that can be solved.”
He is not alone in his belief of being able to deny fate. “A handful of uber-successful Silicon Valley entrepreneurs have been trying for years to reconfigure death against its given as an immutable truth — and now, they’re pushing harder than ever before,” Futurism reports. Such bold and prominent figures include, “Google cofounder Sergey Brin, Oracle chairman Larry Ellison, and Elon Musk.”
Many may look at their quest for testing the bounds of mortality and pursuing an extension of the human lifespan as futile, wasteful, and altogether misguided. Death is a part of life, always has been, and always will be. However, so always have bold minds, that dream and postulate about the future, been viewed as kooks for their lack of footing in present reality.
Thankfully, this did not deter brilliance from ushering forth progress. Not ever bold idea is successful, but it is the pursuit of great ideas that transforms the past into the present and is constantly grasping at the future.
Will immortality be achieved? Possibly not. However, a person’s life expectancy has already increased substantially, and gains in the medical field continue to test the bounds of age.
“Rapamycin, an immunosuppressant, has shown promise in keeping cell growth and reproduction regular in aging cells,” Futurism reports. This is an important advancement, that may yield promising results. Cell growth and reproduction slows down with age, making the body subject to slowing down in its capacity to perform tasks and fight off invasive illness that attack the body. Preventing cellular degeneration is certainly a productive step to keeping humans younger longer.
“Tanespimycin, a drug used in cancer treatments, has helped clear the body of cells which no longer divide properly,” Futurism reports. Healthy cellular division is crucial for staying in optimal physical form. Cellular division is happening constantly everywhere in the body. Whenever cells do not divide properly, they become ineffective, and sometime harmful. A mutated cell deters the state of fitness in the body, and can become cancerous. Denying these troublesome outliers from gaining a foothold in the body will stop many issues from ever developing, or stop them short of becoming fatal.
These are just two examples of promising advancements in the medical field. However, the entrepreneurs mentioned above are investing in their own out-of-the-box ideas. This is perhaps the greatest feat to ever attempt to overcome, and at the very least opens the door for curiosity and wonder.