April 18, 2016

Advances Towards Immortality and Against Inequality

By Marian L. Tupy
Humans will be immortal by 2030s, according to Google Exec

Ray Kurzweil, Google’s new engineering director, thinks that humans will achieve immortality by the mid-twenty-first century. As robotics and artificial intelligence improve over time, the human brain and body will advance to the point where we will “transcend our limitations,” says Kurzweil. He argues that by the 2030s, people will be integrated with technology to the point where they will be able to live forever. It will be interesting to see if Kurzweil’s predictions come true as Google continues to invest in immortality-promoting technologies.

Secrets to immortality uncovered

New gene altering tools such as somatic cell therapy can now edit genes in humans to the point of eradicating diseases that shorten our lifespans. These tools can repair and rearrange pieces of DNA and can potentially do everything from stopping the spread of Alzheimer’s to changing the appearance of babies. They could be the key to immortality if successful.  

The Sanders-Pope moral economy could hurt the fight against income inequality

Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is headed to the Vatican where he will speak at the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences. Both Sanders and the Pope have called for more action to fight income inequality despite decreases in both poverty and inequality worldwide for the past 25 years. The Gini coefficient, an index used to measure the distribution of wealth in a nation, has declined from 0.60 in 1988 to 0.48 in 2014, showing decreasing income inequality worldwide. While Sanders has rallied his followers against the ills of markets, his solutions would only slow the economic engine that has lifted millions out of poverty, which does not do anyone any good.

Gene editing boosts cancer-killing cells

Research has found effective treatments for fighting off cancer cells in the body. The team was able to manipulate the DNA of immune cells to help them keep fighting off cancer cells. Many of the patients had tremendous results, but there were still many who had side-effects, since altering the body’s immune cells can affect the entire body and not just the cancerous tumor. As the trial process continues the treatment will become better at bringing longevity and more effective
at fighting cancer cells while also reducing the risk of side-effects.