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)