Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Fancy being 800 years old?

It's difficult for me to express how much this scares me:
Researchers have created baker's yeast capable of living to 800 in yeast years without apparent side effects. The basic but important discovery, achieved through a combination of dietary and genetic changes, brings scientists closer to controlling the survival and health of the unit of all living systems: the cell. "We're setting the foundation for reprogramming healthy life," says study leader Valter Longo of the University of Southern California.
I don't relish death, and don't usually wish it on people, but it's not too much to say that death has some useful social purposes, right? Frankly, I don't want Mr. Moneybags sitting around, growing ever-richer and ever-more-powerful for 800 years -- one twentieth that time is more than enough, thanks. Seeing as the only real check we've left ourselves with the rich is that they'll eventually die, leaving their estates to people less worthy and hopefully more inept with the family fortune, doesn't the prospect of an 800-year old Bill Gates scare the crap out of anyone else?

3 comments:

Catelli said...

doesn't the prospect of an 800-year old Bill Gates scare the crap out of anyone else?

Not really, no. I ain't counting on living much past 75.

I can't afford it.

Which probably is the point, only the money bags will be able to afford to extend their natural lives. Ramifications of that are scary, but as I stated, I'll be dead before any social impacts take place.

Mike said...

Hmm, would the age of consent have to be 120 then?

Catelli said...

Age of consent? How about age of majority, driving age etc. etc.

But most importantly, when do you get to friggin retire?