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When asked about their views on immortality and if they'd want to live forever, many people may understandably hesitate before they offer their reply. After all, is living forever actually really worth it, or will doing so bring heartache and misery along with it? While the concept of eternal life is a tempting idea in and of itself, such an offer can easily seem like something out of The Monkey's Paw, fraught with caveats and addendums and hidden catches. Yes, you can live to see your third or fourth century of life, but at what cost?
For example, will you still have your wits about you when you celebrate your half-millennia birthday? Will you still be able to see the world around you with crystal-clear clarity and hear your favorite song without an obnoxious buzzing in your ears? Will your great-great-great-great grandchild need to change your diapers as you toddle around in your dotage? Although science still hasn't quite gotten us to the point where we have to worry about entertaining such a concept just yet, you may be surprised to realize that it just might not be as far off as you initially believed.
In the past century alone, the average human lifespan has jumped from an average of approximately 48 years of age at the time of death (back in 1900) to a staggering 79 years of life (as reported in 2020). That's an increase of over thirty years gained, just in the past 120 years! With humans already pushing the boundaries of immortality, we can only wonder what the next century will offer us. While it's too soon to say for sure, one thing is for certain: we're undoubtedly living longer, and we have science - and technology - to thank for it.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the three leading causes of death in the world are heart disease, cancer, and accidents. While there's a seemingly indefinite number of things that can cut our lives short, this lethal trifecta is responsible for a grand total of 75 percent of deaths. It only makes sense, therefore, to address them first and try to find a way to curtail them. Once humanity is able to prevent premature deaths due to these factors, then we can turn our focus onto whatever else aspires to end our humble existence.
For both men and women alike, heart disease remains the leading cause of death across the board. Nearly one in four deaths can be traced back to this largely preventable illness, and while some people may unfortunately be genetically predisposed to heart failure, there are a few other things that can nonetheless contribute to it. Some of the more common causes of heart disease may include a poor diet, excessive drinking, the use of tobacco products, a lack of regular exercise, and obesity.
One way to help prevent heart disease, though, is by remaining vigilant about your overall health. Taking measures to stay active and eating a balanced diet can go far in keeping death at bay, but that's not the only way to safeguard your heart. Technology has also facilitated the ease of upholding your heart's health, and fitness wearables and apps make it easier than ever before to stay one step ahead of the grim reaper. You can even procure an at-home heart health test, which can alert you of particular risk factors, like elevated triglycerides and high cholesterol.
Cancer is arguably one of the most tragic diseases ever to blight our presence, and it's universally reviled and despised for the devastation it leaves in its wake. It doesn't discriminate, and it targets people from all socioeconomic backgrounds and walks of life. Children, seniors, men, women, and everyone in between can be susceptible to cancer, and finding a cure for it remains a prevailing priority for a countless number of researchers and academics. Like heart disease, though, some comorbidities can contribute to an elevated risk of developing it.
In addition to maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle, though, a few technological advancements are also showing promise in reducing the overall mortality rate of cancer. One such breakthrough came through the application of unique CRISPR technology. By making it possible to actually modify parts of the human genome, the use of CRISPR has allowed geneticists to block a specific gene that inhibits the activation of cancer-fighting T-cells. In turn, researchers remain optimistic about the ability to eventually eradicate this disease once and for all.
Unforeseen accidents continue to claim lives without remorse. Whether the befallen is a Darwin Award recipient or they happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time, these accidents can be sudden, brutal, and grotesque. While improving both mental and spatial awareness is key in preventing them, not everyone has the faculties or the ability to remain alert at all times. Again, we have technology to thank for saving the lives of those hapless individuals who might have otherwise succumbed to a fatal accident.
Take, for instance, car crashes. When vehicles were first introduced, seatbelts weren't even a consideration, and driver education programs were still in their infancy. Today, however, we have three-point restraint systems, side and front airbags, rear-view cameras, blind-spot detection, and automatic emergency braking. Even though 36,000 people will die in an automobile accident this year, that's still 18,500 less than the total in 1970 - and curiously enough, there's over double the number of vehicles on the road today than back then.
Technology is unquestionably saving lives, and we're not only reaching lifespans that were unfathomable to our ancestors, but our quality of life has also improved exponentially. While it's far too soon to say with confidence that immortality is the next step in our evolution, it is no longer a concept that's relegated to science fiction and myth. With the advancements that we have seen so far, and with the promise of even more appearing in the coming years, we just may all live to see the day that science finally finds a cure for death.
Source from: techtimes