Y is for Yasasin

If there is one man on Earth who is immortal, it’s surely David Bowie. And when he sang the lyrics to Yassassin, “I don’t want to leave or drift away,” he must have known the Turkish translation: “may he or she live forever.” As we venture into the oncoming posthuman era where aging is considered a disease and death old-fashioned, viewing immortality as a myth is ancient fanfare. The reality is that society desires to live longer, healthier and more energetic lives, and even the most alluring promises sold by beauty companies are no longer believable without results and solutions. As we move towards personalized medicine, where we’ll be treating our bodies like personal computers, knowing what our own DNA looks like, and using real-time information for monitoring and measuring our state of health, inevitably people will begin to feel more in control of their bodies and, ultimately, their destiny. The standard viewpoint on aging is that it’s the inevitable wear and tear of the body: toxins, free-radicals, disease and stress. And while new research suggests that caloric restriction is the answer, others advocate the ongoing study of centenarians in Okinawa, Japan and around the globe. With the decoding of the human genome and epigenetic research underway, the possibility of radical life extension is now being seriously entertained as well. Fantastic voyager Ray Kurzweil suggests, that if we can live long enough to experience the oncoming benefits of biotechnology and nanotechnology, we will be able to rebuild our bodies at the molecular level and live forever. Provocative researcher, Aubrey de Grey, even predicts that many people alive today will live up to 1,000 years of age and, miraculously, avoid all age-related health problems. The secret: gene therapy, as it’s suspected that damage to our cellular mitochondria is the culprit, and by re-inserting modified mitochondrial DNA into the cell’s chromosomes, we can actually reverse aging, leaving us biologically young into a forever future. Although the thought of life everlasting may seem like science fiction or religious conviction, the pursuit of a never-ending forever is causing posthumans, transhumans and yasasins everywhere to celebrate. Onwards and upwards comrades.

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