We were told that every living being has to die because the God has made it this way. Well, not all living organisms are fated to die. Yes, immortality is not just a concept.
Bacteria are biologically immortal. They age and then just divide to create new bacteria, technically nothing died there.
It is not like only unicellular organisms have that privilege. Hydra, a simple multi-cellular organism is also biologically immortal. Its cells can also renew themselves through cell division. Buds are created on their body as number of cells grows and then those buds fall off and grows into a new hydra.
Not only bacteria and hydra, many other unicellular and simple multi-cellular organisms have that blessing.
These organisms die because of other organisms or harsh condition like too much heat, antibiotic chemical etc.
What has gone wrong for us the humans? Why can’t the healthiest person in the world retain his life forever?
Well, our cells can multiply only for 50-60 rounds and after that it loses its ability to replicate its chromosomes.
How and why?
Well, every time our cell replicate chromosome telomere which is the end part of every chromatid become little shorter means replicated chromosome gets little shorter telomere. Think chromosomes as bottles full of genetic data, then telomere is the cap and it doesn’t let chromosome fuse with each-other. Telomerase enzyme is required to restore full telomere length after division. Ironically, our body cells can’t produce that important chemical. That’s why after 50-60 round of cell division new cells get chromosome with so short telomere that they can’t replicate it further. After that they are fated to decay and die.
Why can’t it keep metabolizing forever?
Well, technically, cells are technically like chemical plants. A great number of complex chemical reactions are taking place in our body cells every moment too keep us alive. Metabolisms are also included in those. Those complex chemical reactions produce many byproduct and not all byproducts are supposed to be good for our cells. Few compounds with unpaired electrons are produced in some of reactions in cells and those compounds react with other essential compounds in cells and render them into useless substance, those electron hungry compounds are well familiar as free radicals.
It is the villain which hunts every health conscious person. And the knight which can defeat this demon is known as ‘Antioxidant’. Antioxidants gives electrons to free radicals to turn them into stable substances but don’t turn into something harmful after that. Vitamin C, Vitamin E etc are most common antioxidants.
Wait, if you believe lots of antioxidants are easy solution of mortality issue, there is one more thing you need to know. Cell organs lose their functionality over time. Lysosome then digests those and turns them into nutrients. But many complex substances are produced inside cells which are indigestible to lysosome and that debris choke the lysosome and make it nonfunctional one day.
So, basically, our cells are programmed and fated to die. If science is to make us immortal it needs to change the basic genetic data of ours, meaning ‘Mutation’, which doesn’t sound a great idea after watching so many Hollywood blockbusters on this subject. But, say, somehow Science manage to give our cell the superpower to produce telomerase (which cancer cells have, so remember it and then wish), nerve cells and most of muscles don’t have the privilege to multiply to begin with. And your heart is made of such ‘hard to maintain’ muscles. So, science can’t take the God’s throne.
Watch the video for more details:
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