Thursday, April 19, 2012

can we live forever?

Have we finally found something that can make us live forever, or at least for a much longer time? Throughout history, kings, sorcerers and even ordinary people have sought to find the secret to immortality. Stories of these people going through treacherous adventures in search of such an object that will grant them eternal life have lived for centuries. Nowadays, these stories are no more than just myths, or even tales we tell to our kids before bed; suggesting that we have lost our belief that a life without death is impossible. However, a group of scientist have found a molecule might hold the key to extending our lives significantly.

Buckminsterfullerene, a molecule consisting of 60 carbon atoms, might not only give us an extended life span, but it has also been considered as a viable treatment for HIV and cancer. Recently, a trial was done to see the effects of this substance. In this trial, scientists had three groups of rats with different diets. One group was given a control, anther group consumed olive oil and a third group was fed a mixture of olive oil and Buckminsterfullerene. The results were remarkable: while the rats that were fed a control lived for 22 months and the group that ate olive oil lived for about 26 months, the rats that were fed a mixture of olive oil and Buckminsterfullerene lived an astonishing 42 months! From their findings, aging is caused by oxidative stress, and Buckminsterfullerene works by reducing this.

While these were only tested on animals, and no one knows how beneficial it will be to humans, it definitely is a step closer to finding a substance that can increase our life expectancy. Plus, it might play a huge role towards cancer treatment and neurodegenerative disorders.

-Hermann Kam (1)


  1. Interesting blog! I think that the people who wrote the article you read were just trying to get a raise out of their readers. People who live stressful lives die earlier because their body isn't strained. I wonder how much longer we would live if stress was not constantly taking it's toll.

    Posted By: Jen Silva(3)

  2. I think there are a lot of other factors that go into aging, death, and expected life span than just oxidative stress, but this is a pretty cool finding. Im sure make-up companies and manufacturers of anti-aging products will have a field day with this chemical once they hear of this study, and convince all those willing to believe them that they've found the secret to looking young forever. I like, though, how this is another example of how organic chemistry is literally the basis for everything in our lives.

    Posted by Laura Moro (2)

  3. I'm pretty skeptical of this kind of study since it seems to come out all of the time, but if this works then awesome! I hope this at least somewhat furthers the medical field. Any new advance is a boon to society.

    Mike Selden (3)

    1. Agreed. Almost every week I hear about something that might potentially help us live longer or cure a deadly disease. But this one was interesting and it stood out from the rest. Fascinated to see how this goes!

      -Hermann Kam

  4. Although this is a very interesting article, as mentioned above, I am also very skeptical. People come out with prouducts and theories all the time that promise an extended life. If this molecule does actually work on humans, it would be amazing as many people would take advantage of it, yet I do not know if I would myself. I do not think I would want to extend my already long and wonderful life.