Michio Kaku: Genetic and digital immortality are within reach


The rate at which we are learning about longevity
Gives one pause. It makes you realize that perhaps digital
and genetic immortality are Within reach. Already, in Silicon Valley, there are companies
which, for a price, will digitize everything known about you your credit card transactions,
your emails, Instagrams. Everything known about you can be digitized. And we have something called the Connectome
Project, which will map the pathways of the entire human brain all your memories, all
your quirks, personalities, everything digitized. And we’ll put it on a disk. And for the most part, we’ll put it in a library. Today, you go to the library, and you take
a book out About Winston Churchill. In the future, you’ll go to the library and
talk to Winston Churchill, because all his speeches, his mannerisms, his memories, his
letters, Have been digitized. I would love to talk to Einstein. I would love to talk to him, even if it’s
a computer program that has digitized everything known about him his work, his writings, His
speeches, everything, and a holographic image, so that I can talk to him. And one day, we might be digitized, as well. We’ll be able to talk to our great-great-great-great-great
grandkids, and they’ll be able to talk to their great-great-great-great-great Ancestors,
as well. Because we become immortal. Not only that, but we’re now beginning to
isolate the genes which control the aging process. First of all, let’s take a car. Where does aging take place in a car? Aging takes place in the engine. Why? That’s where you have moving parts and combustion. Well, where, in the cell, do we have the power
house of a cell? Mitochondria. Bingo, we now know where most of the errors
build up in a cell. And with CRISPR technology, we may be able
to edit out the errors that build up and extend the human lifespan. For example, a mouse can live to be about
roughly two years of age, and then it dies of old age. But the Greenland shark can live to be over
400 years of age. And that’s just not hearsay. By looking at the eyeball of the Greenland
shark, it adds layers at a very precise rate in the eye. By analyzing and counting the layers, we see
that the Greenland shark can live almost 500 years in age. So in other words, genetically speaking, it
may be possible to extend the human lifespan. So genetic and biological immortality are
definitely in the cards.

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