Long For This World

Long For This World

Long For This World

Long for This World: the Strange Science of Immortality by Jonathan Weiner came out in 2010.  Weiner begins with the Epic of Gilgamesh.  Gilgamesh is promised immortality if he can keep his eyes open for one whole week.  He fails.  He is given another chance at immortality if he can find the sacred weed.  A snake steals the weed and he fails once again. The closest to immortality we can find on this earth is the Hydra.  If it is damaged then it can repair itself.  If a part of it is cut off then it can re-grow that part.

Gilgamesh

“I have immortal longings in me.” ~Cleopatra

So what keeps alive and what causes us to age and eventually die?  It is all about metabolism, anabolism and catabolism.  Cells are built and then our body tears them down and devours them.  Oxidants cause our cells to rust and degrade via free radicals.  Then our cells have harmful debris and trash around them.  The slow build up of extra junk in our cells causes us to slowly age.  If we could keep our cells cleaning up then we wouldn’t age.

Cells and Junk

“To be a philosopher is to learn how to die.” ~Montiange

 There are seven deadly things that cause us to die from the inside out.  1) Many molecules get entangled and stiff.  This binding causes us to lose elasticity. 2) The mitochondrial fail with age 3) Junk collects inside our cells 4) More junk collects in between our cells 5) Cells get old and quit doing their jobs 6) Cells die and poison collects around them 6) Mutations of cells occur and we get cancer tumors.

Cancer Cells Splitting Apart “The Gods themselves die out, but poetry is even stronger than bronze. It survives everything.” ~Theophile Gauiter

What can we do to combat these things?  We have SENS: Strategies for the Engineering of Negligible Senescence. Then there is TOR: Target of Rapamycin and WILT: Whole Body Interdiction of Lengthening of Telomeres.

Genetics

“Write as if you are dying.” Anne Dillard

It is a fascinating topic that I hope to hear more about in the future. Although I did learn a lot from this book, I found it a bit too vague and disorganized. Hopefully his next book will have more information as well as a better focus.  Despite its flaws, I still recommend Long For This World.

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About carilynn27

Reading and writing and writing about reading are my passion. I've been keeping a journal since I was 14. I also write fiction and poetry. I published my first collection of short stories, "Radiant Darkness" in 2000. I followed that up with my first collection of poetry in 2001 called "Journey without a Map." In 2008, I published "Persephone's Echo" another collection of poetry. Since then I've also published Emotional Espionage, The Way The Story Ended, My Perfect Drug and Out There. I have my BA in English from The Ohio State University at Mansfield and my MA in English Lit from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. I also have my Post BA Certificate in Women's Studies. I am the mother of two beautiful children. :-)
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