Scientists may have found a cure for ageing after all. That means people might not need to result to constant use of Botox so as to hide wrinkles anymore. Experiments done by teams at Stanford and Harvard Universities point to a possible cure; it’s all in the blood. So far the experiment has only been conducted on mice and it seemed to work.
The blood of young mice injected into older mice seemed to rejuvenate them by improving their memory, as it seemed to recharge the brain, and they run longer on the treadmill. All these are characteristics associated with youth; talk about ‘young blood’. It’s attributed to the protein, known as ‘GDF11’, present in the blood. High levels of the protein in the body improves body functioning.
The experiment has not been tested on humans yet. If tried and successful, it could cure effects of old age like Alzheimer’s. If it doesn’t turn out right as expected, however, it could have serious side effects.
This scientific finding had me thinking about life’s paradoxes; people don’t want to die, and they still don’t want to age. The way I see it, ageing isn’t so desirable. Many people detest the obvious symptoms of ageing: wrinkled skin, receding hair lines, weakening muscles, effects of gravitational pull on some certain body parts, greying hair, memory loss, impaired sight/hearing, loss of teeth…etc. It is understandable why one would want to get cured of them.
A few years ago a cousin of mine told me he hoped to die before he turned fifty because he didn’t want ageing to mar his good looks. He was a teenager at the time. I don’t know if he has changed his mind about the issue but given that now he is in his twenties, I wouldn’t be surprised if he had a change of heart as fifty doesn’t feel so far away anymore.
What we need to understand is that ageing is a normal part of life. When life sprouts, there will be ageing eventually if the person doesn’t die young. Mary Engelbreit said, “If you don’t like something, change it; if you can’t change it, change the way you think about it”. I feel we should apply this quote in this ageing issue. Whatever we do, no matter how hard scientists try to find a cure for ageing, people will still grow old. It is something we need to accept. Ergo, we should start looking at it as a blessing.
Personally I don’t mind ageing; but then again, one might argue that it’s because I’m still enjoying my youth so I wouldn’t really know how it feels to suffer any of the unpleasant ageing symptoms. It’s true, I’m in my youth, but at the same time, I do know how it is like to become a whole different person thanks to advancing age.
Currently my dad’s grandmother is still alive. I’m not sure how old she is but I’m assuming she is in her late nineties or early hundreds. I knew her when I was still a small kid and she was much younger than she is right now. I was less than five I think, and even though I don’t remember much about her I remember her being a very strong, lively woman. She used to enjoy singing and dancing and was even a member of her local church choir. Last October I saw her. The wrinkles on her face did nothing to conceal her beauty; I imagined she must have been so beautiful in her youth. As it is, old age has rendered her blind, toothless; she can’t walk on her own and therefore has to be wheeled around in a wheelchair.
When my paternal cousins and I gathered around her three years ago, she could barely remember us. We had to introduce ourselves, telling her whose children we were because it was easier for her to make the connection that way. Naturally she can’t cook or take care of herself, so she lives with one of her younger sons. Her last of eight children is dad’s age.
When I saw her, I thought about the cycle of life; one comes into this world tiny and dependent, grows into someone strong and as years pass by, grows old and weak, dependent again. Someone who gets lucky enough to live through the full cycle leaves this world as they came, weak and dependent.
Is my great granma happy? She might not have all the comforts of her youth, but I would say she is. She inspires me to think of ageing as a blessing. In my opinion, she is abundantly blessed as she has lived to see five generations. She has seen her great-great-grandchildren. That’s a blessing. With the way things are nowadays, it’s a blessing to live that long.
The experiment has me wondering; if it’s successful, won’t babies become an endangered species? Their blood will obviously be on high demand and that means there could be more kidnappings…etc. And again, I’m thinking, what if it triggers the ‘vampire syndrome’ in humans, making the better of us blood thirsty and all, in the quest to remain young?
Maybe the whole cure for ageing thing will be advantageous to many, but it could also give rise to dreadful repercussions. In light of this, maybe we should maintain status quo; we shouldn’t upset the balance of things…but that’s just my opinion…