Immortal Humans

Is the human body attempting to adapt or evolve and become immortal? Not die, ever. It would not be an impossibility to conceive that one possible outcome of evolution is that superior species go on to become immortal. To do so would require a genetic modification in our body. Specifically, the evolution of the process by which cell death occurs. Cell death occurs because they end snip off as you age. As your cells get shorter, they reach a point where they cannot divide any longer at which point they die. To prevent this, your cells ends have something called Telomeres. To become immortal, your telomeres have to protect your cells from dying forever,

The Hela Cell is one such immortal cell line; cells that do not die from cell division. Derived from Henrietta Lacks, a patient who died of cancer, this line of cells is named after her. Her cells were found to be remarkable in their durability and prolificity. Taken without her consent, cell biologist, George Otto Grey discovered that her cells could be kept alive and multiplied. The cells taken from Henrietta were then used to produce the Polio vaccine. Since then, the cells have been used by researchers all over the world for disease research, gene mapping and to test various toxic substances such as cosmetics and glue. Researchers need to exercise caution as they proliferate abnormally and are hard to control. They can also contaminate other cells when they come in contact with them.

Hela cells were described by some researchers as the creation of a new species because they can divide forever unlike regular human cells. Others have not taken this proposal seriously so far. Perhaps, immortality is not here yet. Perhaps, humans will never get there and will be overtaken by machines much before they can. Or maybe, we are already immortal, and the time you spend in your human body is just one small part of your journey.


Ritesh is a born again health enthusiast and holds a Certificate in Physiology from Harvard Medical School and a Certificate in Nutrition from Tufts University.