All the five thousand years in their history (if we start counting from the beginning of the rule of
the lugal of Uruk city of Gilgamesh, of which we are told by the most ancient monument in the Shumer-Akkad cuneiform written language – the poem about “The one who has seen everything” written upon the clay tablets) mankind always experienced the highly deep and all-consuming interest towards its own immortality and the prolongation of the individual life. It will be logical to assume that this theme attracted the attention of man always, even in the prehistoric times. Most likely, it accompanied the consciousness of Homo Sapiens from the moment of his actual appearance in this world as the human being.
It is hard to guess that once upon a time the man thinking and feeling was ready to put up with his own death, with the total irretrievable departure from the light, iridescent world, in which he was born, existed, was happy and was loved and was endless in each moment. It is even more hard to guess that the last period of life before departure could make one glad with its infirmity, decrepitude, opulence of illnesses and the loss of hope for the future. We are talking about old age.
It is namely this last age period of our life as if it is specially built like a staircase descending down to the grave. The staircase upon which on each step of which we leave a part of our strengths, youth, health, cheerfulness and the life itself. Sometimes the odes to old age as the summit of human existence filled with experience, wisdom, serenity and some “inner light of knowledge” are born most likely by the a-priori realization of the fatal helplessness of man before the oncoming endless non-existence.
Old age is humiliating and ruthless towards man. The biological expediency of getting older, found by August Weismann in his first gerontological article,loses the meaning towards man. Because he lives in the artificial environment. Getting older is not conducive now for the development of our species and does not protect our posterity from extinction like the other mammals.
But this is not the main point.
The exclusiveness of man in the Universe asserts the Anthropic cosmological principle. The privileged place of man in the world is deduced from the existent interaction of the world constants (the speed of light, the constant gravity, the local spatial heterogeneity etc.). Man is exclusive and consequently his goals are exclusive also. But getting older disrupts our purposefulness in the universe and does not allow to realize ourselves as the highest feeling and thinking creature. Many unfinished deeds, ideas, creative projects turn our life into the flight without any goal and meaning.
We already do not mention that old age brings with itself sufferings, fear, pain, loneliness and oblivion. Getting older tears us apart from the public relations, and decrepitude and senility deprive us of the usual life and its joys.
It has always been like this and that’s why the thirst of gaining second youth has never left man.
The dream about immortality or at least about the prolongation of such short a life never left man during nay of his history. To this there testify the endless legends, myths, ballads, religious tractates and the holy books of all the peoples of the world. Whatever form this dream might have taken – the endless life on Earth, life after death, life in the other worlds, striving for it has always been the main super idea of Homo Sapiens. The loss of his own life is conceived by man as totally unacceptable.
When one turns to the practice of confrontation of man to the inevitability of getting older and meeting death it opens an interesting picture. During the search of any means capable to prolong life, preserve good health and vitality and also to postpone, as it seems the inevitable demise, man tested practically all the conceivable and inconceivable substances of our Earth. Only to list them all would have taken hundreds of pages. But in order to make our narration full, let’s try to recollect at least the most exotic ones.
In ancient times the rulers of the Orient peoples collected the breathing of the virgins into the bottle and drank the contents in the hope of rejuvenation. There were rulers, who before going to sleep surrounded themselves with young girls, thus hoping to adopt their youth. The magic role was given to the blood of the young girls. They drank it, they washed with it, they bathed in it, filling up the bath and killing dozens of young people for this goal. It is sufficient to remember the history of the Hungarian countess Elzhbetta Batori. During the decades of years she killed for rejuvenation approximately 650 girls (although the exact number of victims is unknown).
Semi-mythical remains the history of the French marshal Zhil de Monmoransi-Laval, count de Re. In search of eternal youth the marshal Blue Beard killed the boys by suffocating them. According to the legends, out from the seed of the dying virgin boy there grows the mandragora flower which gives to the owner youth for many years.
And here is the recipe from the ancient Persian manuscript: “Take a man, red-haired and with freckles and feed him with fruits up to 30 years of age. After that put him into the stone vessel with honey and spices and seal him hermetically. After 120 years the elixir of youth will be ready”.
During a thousand of years there was prepared the godly “teriac” – the preparation created by the order of the Pontiac tsar Mitridat VI Evpator. Tens of herbs mixed by the strictly measured portionsб drawn during many years had to bring the desired result. But alas.
The Noble Prize winner Iliya Ilyich Mechnikov for about 20 years’ time drank “kislo mlyako” – the Bulgarian kefir for the purpose of slowing down the processes of getting older and he even ate pure culture of the Bulgarian intestinal bacilli (that is he simply ate microbes). But he did not succeed.
Bogdanov Alexandr Alexandrovich – the Russian physician, the Utopian thinker, encyclopaedic scientist offered the exchange transfusion of blood and full blood substitution between the young and old revolutionaries (these works were going in the 1920-s of the 20-th century in Russia). The first results were inspiring but after that there started failures. For Bogdanov himself the next transfusion ended tragically: during the eleventh exchange transfusion with one student there took place the rejection and after that the death. The student survived.
The recipes are innumerable. The list can be continued endlessly. When compared with such extravagant approaches the endless “elixirs of eternal youth” using two pieces of garlic, the juice of 6 lemons, dry fruits of sweetbrier with the pound dry nettles and ergot, 20 yolks of the quail eggs, 400 grams of honey, 50 ml. of olive oil, bear ears, pig tails etc. etc. is just a childish babble, that brings no factual use as may be understood.
Let’s repeat again. Mankind during the five thousand years tried and tested practically all the hard, liquid, gaseous, mythical, scientific and pseudo-scientific things in search of the means to prolong their own life. And today one can say the following for sure: we did not succeed in prolonging our life with guarantee even for one day. When the time comes, we die of old age (or to be more exact, from the illnesses associated with aging) at such a time an in such a circumstance as providence or fate or God or the microbes but not we ourselves deem it necessary.
The efforts of gerontological science were not in vain by all means. There is collected a huge amount of factological material about the process of aging, there were elaborated and sold the interesting gero-protectors which influence upon the separate links of the age chain, there are formulated the invaluable advices about the healthy way of life for persons of elderly age. But the main goal of the whole search – the prolongation of human life has come closer to us not by a jot.
And this is no wonder, by the way. The analysis of the thematics of gerontological scientific articles showed an extremely low addressing of scientists to the problem of Radical Prolongation of Life. Only less that one percent of the researches is dedicated to the issue of surpassing of the species’ limit of duration of human life.
Gerontology refuses to be preoccupied with that cognitive environment in which “the resistance of material” is higher of all. The problem of immortality does not give in to the onslaught of the researchers for thousands of years and it does not look as if it is ready to give in today as well.
All the talks about that once “the senile” illnesses are cured and then we will live much longer are little-argumented. If medicine already today were able to rid people of the elderly and senile age from these illnesses, it would do so. Medicine does not need the special recommendations “from the side” in order to solve its urgent tasks of sanitation. But the treatment of many “aged” illnesses is still an insoluble task. And then the question arises, is it possible at all to prolong human life by 2, 4 or 10 times?
Can the human organism live for centuries? Does it not contradict the laws of nature? It does not contradict. By no means. Vice versa. The most intricate biological system of the organism of Homo Sapiens possesses the huge reserves and vital capacity. But the matter lies not only here.
First of all the matter is that life on Earth was created as elementary immortal. Appearing in the form of unicellular organisms life was transferred from cell to cell and as a matter of fact this line of life never interrupted up to today. As a classical example we will consider the division of the unicellular organism of the paramecia. It is taking place in the experiment already during 8400 generations.
But also the more complex multi-cellular organisms also show wonders of negligent aging, longevity and simply immortality.
There among the plants the longest life duration is with the aristate pine and the baobab – 4-5 thousand years , there with the sequoia dendrona gigantic, yew-tree, cypress – up to 3 thousand years, the oak, chestnut , walnut – more than 2 thousand years. Among animals the longest life span is observed with the tortoises (more than 150 years), the lamellibranchia mollusks (up to 100 years), some fishes (the sturgeons – up to 100 years), elephants (60-70 years), a number of birds (owls – up to 70 years, the condor – up to 40 years), the most long-living mammal – is the Greenland whale that lives up to 210 years.
The tuatara is the rarest reptile, the only one and very ancient representative of the sub-class of the beak-headed reptiles, that live on our planet from the Trias period. The tuatars live up to 200 years and aged long after 100 years can have progeny, which was noted in the Southland museum in New Zealand.
The Galapagoss tortoises are most likely the best-known from among the land long-livers. The confirmed absolute record of longevity among the vertebrate animals also belongs to the Galapagoss tortoise – 250 years. Also, the snake-like coral lives long. The duration of life of one polyp is not great, but this is not the case with the snake-like coral. In this species a separate specimen lives up to 400 years. The Antarctic sponge and such-like species in the Antarctic waters grow very slowly and in very low temperatures. The estimates made upon the measuring of the augmentation of the in the growth during one years give shocking results. The two-meter sponge, that habitates in the Sea of the Ross must have the age of 23000 years!!! Although if we take into account the data about the changing of the level of the sea in those places, the age of the sponge cannot exceed 15000 years.
But there are absolute record-holders among the multi-cellular ones. This is the tiny (0,5 cm) medusa Turritopsis Nutricula. They simply do not die from their own death from internal causes. They are immortal. These creatures which represent the class of hydrozoas, die only if they are eaten or killed. The whole matter lies in the fact, that apart from the majority of medusas which die at once afterreproduction, this kind of medusa after aging – starts getting younger, turning into the juvenile polyp. And so it goes cycle after cycle. The sea biologists at the present time do not see any obstacles to the number of such cycles.
Also is truly immortal the Freshwater hydra – the predator polyp the size of 2 cm. In the upper part of the body of the hydra, just a little below the tentacles, there is a zone where there stem cells are located. And from this zone the new cells migrate to the places of functioning, where they differentiate into the integumentary, nervous and lasso cells. After that they are replaced by other young cells, which come from the belt of intensive proliferation. This process goes on like this endlessly and the hydra lives limitlessly long without showing any manifestations of aging. But all this is during one obligatory condition: the auspicious outer environment. If there happens an insignificant natural cataclism – the change of temperature or the composition of the water- and then the mitosis of the cells if slowed down the hydra gets old and then perishes. That’s why the hydra is immortal only potentially.
The long life is possible for the multi-cellular organisms as well, which is very significant for the search of the method of Radical Prolongation of Life. Because man is also a multi-cellular creature. Man after living his life cycle dies from internal causes. Gerontology qualifies these causes as the process of aging. Aging always comes in a certain period and man, like any other animal is limited by the so called Species’ Limit of the duration of life. The species’ limit of man is determined to be 115 -120 years. In any event, the truly registered cases exceeding this term are not known.
The maximum fixed age was marked with the Frenchwoman Zhanna Kalmon – 122 years 164 days. But she died not from illnesses, like the majority. Up to one hundred years she was skiing and riding a bicycle. After that she had to change and sit into the invalid wheeled chair, after that her hearing failed, then after one month’s time her vision failed. The organism of Zhanna slowly was switching off, part after part. She was getting decrepit and was fading away like it should be when the true old age comes. That’s why our efforts to prolong life beyond the species’ limit are meaningless. The human organism extinguishes during the process of aging. Aging is an enthropic process. Even if one succeeds to sanitate the aging organism, decrepitude will be progressing non-stop and in the end will lead man to weakness, feebleness and utter disorientation in the socium. That is the last period of life one will be tied to his bed, understanding the approach of death.
That is why when we elaborate the method of Radical Prolongation of Life, that is we plan to go out beyond the Species’ Limit of the duration of life – then we have only one way left for us – to turn the aging process backward and then come to the earlier biological age. Only through the method of age inversion we will get our goal. That it is possible in principle for the multi-cellular creatures was already demonstrated to us by the little medusa Turritopsis Nutricula.
Of course, it is understood that biologically the medusa and man are objects of utterly different levels of development, but the general laws of biology for them are identical.
That is why, by using the general biological principles, we elaborated The Five-level Native Procedure (FNP), which theoretically gives the possibility of implementing the age inversion for human. Based upon the natural principles of development and fading of the organism of the higher primates, the FNP must provide the lowering of the biological age approximately by 20-30 years. The procedure itself is to be carried out during several months. Besides, there is hope for one or double repetition of this methodology which in principle will make it possible to achieve the double life span.
For the confirmation of the theoretical conclusions of the FNP it is necessary to carry out a number of final experiments. If there is given the financial support from the state or private donors, then the so desired solution of the prolongation of life will become much closer to us than we think.
The experimental programme of the FNP is designed for 1,5 – 2 years time.
We did not start the narration from “The epos about Gilgamesh” to no purpose. In this literary source of mankind a considerable part of the text is dedicated to the history of the searches of immortality.
Endlessly difficult and dangerous was the way of Gilgamesh to eternal life. But once the hero managed to get the magical sloe granting the immortality sought for, then the insidious snake stole the thorny plant and hid in the deep hole. Gilgamesh was crying bitterly, understanding that he would not live for ever now, that he would not be equal with the gods and returned empty-handed to his Uruk.
It can happen so, that already getting into our hands the method long sought for, we can lose it without finishing our work. But we think, that in the search for long life one must test every chance which is given to us. We must surpass all the obstacles for the possible returned youth, prolongation of life and fight with death.