Broadcast on October 8 at 11:50 p.m. on La Une
Is immortality desirable? Probably not. But that’s not really the issue here. In this new episode of the always excellent Gray Matter, Patrice Goldberg and his teams rather wonder if it is possible. And while immortality tends to be thought of as something out of science fiction or mythological tales, it seems like science is indulging in the challenge. Reformatting his damaged DNA, recovering from his injuries in record time like a Wolverine, or having new organs implanted in the laboratory, everything is imaginable. And slightly scary. But in laboratories, precisely, the future of our societies may be playing out now. The researchers have identified a gene, which they call “the longevity gene” (just that), and which could modify our relationship to death. The challenge: nothing less than playing with the rules of aging and, why not, one day, preventing it. Well, we are not there, since it is first a question of understanding this famous gene, then of seeing how we can act on it. But the idea is there.
There is another. Cell division still fascinates scientists, titillated by the desire to appropriate its formidable properties. This process by which a cell divides to create others is at the origin of all life and therefore potentially of all rebirth. There too, the desire to regulate the way our body manages cell division, through the taking of treatments or drugs, is there. Will we get there someday? Do we get there? The questions are many and the answers are lacking. But science opens up a multitude of possibilities. And if the one to live forever presents itself, it will be hard to say no.