ErstO
Interesting, but if “evolution works by selecting for the most advantageous genes” evolution more or less stops after the reproductive years..... It works..... Yes there may be a few human females that can still reproduce late in life, but those genes would be drowned out in a few generations because evaluation has already found the optimum age cycle for reproduction.... Thats not to say that gene therapy cant extend our lives, but the only way nature would do that is if we kill off all those that can only reproduce in there younger years.
Augure
The answer is to immortality is not in our genes, but neurological limitations: sure you can extend life artificially up to any point, but there is a threshold beyond which the mind, and I say the mind because even artificially extending brain cells or neurons production wouldn't change anything, cannot continue apprehending the world, experiences or reality when it has live to young. Anyone who can project themselve living 100 years, then 500 years, then 2000 years while understanding the changes in mind in their current age (unless you're very young) can quickly see how this becomes hell.
ZubinB
This is because humanity as a species is already 'immortalized' via the means of reproduction and it isn't as efficient to try and get individual humans to carry on living for multiple decades as it is than to simply start again as a baby, which is overall more beneficial towards the species as a whole which is what matters as it will allow it to continue to grow and evolve and offers better protections against potential extinction events.
EUbrainwashing
To look at the conundrum from the perspective of the individual is to miss how the 'system' works or, more to the point, what the system is actually working for and towards. Evolution is a fine tuned machine but the individual is only a cog in the mechanism. Humans happen to be self-aware cognitive individuals, that want to live, but that is because the DNA that comprises them has found this to be the best way to perpetuate. Not to perpetuate humans, or worms, but to perpetuate itself. If my conciousness is just a vast set of data and algorithms we know it is dependent on starting-off and then residing in a brain as the hardware in which our conciousness must be accommodated to 'run'. As yet at least, we are not able to culture a new body and brain and jump our conciousness into that to motor off in. DNA is able to roughly approximate the trick that the data and algorithms which comprise living conciousness cannot perform. DNA finds as close to a match for itself and splits the difference. If it does not all replicate, in exacting detail, into the future most of it does and what gets left behind is a cost paid for the advantage of gaining incremental evolutionary improvements each time it is incarnated into a new life.
dmitriy
Hm, and for what reason these autophagy’s genes rapidly start to malfunction at some age? Wouldn’t it be wise to foster the efforts to find the deeper issue causing this failure? It should also lie somewhere in worm’s DNA but some other genes should be responsible for that.
piperTom
It will be great if science learns how to switch off aging, but I despair of getting it past the FDA... in my lifetime.
JonathanPDX
Immortality sounds like a cool thing, but given the horrors man manages to enact in the (normally) seven or eight decades of life, it's probably a good thing our species doesn't live longer. At least that gives those who live on some chance to recover from or ameliorate the effects of those "bad apples" who seek to leave their scars upon humanity.
Douglas Bennett Rogers
The twenty somethings that return from successful wars are the ones to reproduce. The cholesterol that stops their bleeding will later clog their arteries.
warren52nz
I wouldn't argue with the experts but it seems simple enough to me. Evolution only occurs when resources are limited because then it becomes a competition for survival and that's how Natural Selection works. If people lived too long, the older non-breeders would use up resources the younger generation could use to breed. And genes degenerate over time so it's better to breed young when the genes are still "fresh". So it's adaptive to the gene pool for the older ones to die off.
JimFox
Immortality- imbecilic concept. Earth is on the brink of the sixth extinction- brought about by humans. If we lived to even 200 yrs, there'd be nothing left to support any living matter by now. We have no idea of how to manage our resources since the dawn of 'civilization'. Nor will we EVER learn.