Life is the most magical and mysterious thing among the countless things born after the big bang. We all know that there is no eternal existence in this world. Even stars and planets can not exist in the universe forever. At the end of life, stars will transform into another celestial body, and planets may disappear completely in the universe.
In the same way, life can’t be eternal. No matter simple life or intelligent life as complex and advanced as human beings, there is a limit of life span. However, there are obvious differences in the life span of different kinds of life. Some life spans are very short. For example, the life span of bees is only more than one month, and that of mice is about two years. The life span of the dominant land elephant is longer, and it can live to about 60 years old.
The life span of human beings is relatively long in the biological world of nature. Compared with the life span of bees and mice, the average life span of human beings is more than 70 years, which is very long. But in nature, there are many creatures that live longer than human beings, such as Greenland shark, which is one of the largest sharks in the world. Although it looks ugly, it can live much longer than human beings, and can live to 156 years old.
For human beings, what we admire most is the life span of tortoise. We often hear people say that the tortoise of thousands of years has a long life span. Of course, this analogy is just an exaggerated description of the tortoise’s relatively long life span. In fact, the tortoise can’t live more than a thousand years. Because there are many kinds of turtles, different turtles have different lifespan, but the worst turtles can live to be over 20 years old.
Most turtles can live more than 100 years without accidents. Many of them can live to more than 200 years old. Scientists have found plant eating grass turtles on some islands near the Pacific Ocean. The life span of this kind of turtle has reached 300 years. Why can a tortoise live more than 200 years, while a person’s life span is much shorter?
I believe many people want to live longer than a tortoise, so what’s the root of the difference? Before human beings entered the era, it is impossible to really explore the mystery of life span, because it is difficult to find the answer to the essence of all things from a macro perspective. Only when we enter the micro field can we explore the essence of things. For example, when the temperature of a simple object rises or falls, we can only see and feel the temperature change from a macro perspective, but we don’t know why the essence of the temperature change of an object is.
Only when we enter the micro field, we know that the change of temperature is determined by the thermal motion of particles. In the same way, the mystery of life span can’t be solved from the macro level. It’s only possible in the micro level. After entering the era of science and technology, human beings began to explore and study the micro world. Through continuous exploration and research, we have a lot of cognition about the micro world.
Organisms are composed of numerous cells, and the cell renewal is very fast. It is with the continuous renewal of cells that we have the vitality of life. If the renewal of cells can go on forever, won’t the living body live forever? Why is there death? Through research, scientists have found that although the speed of cell renewal is very fast, the quality and activity of cells after each renewal will be reduced, and with the growth of age, the speed of cell renewal will also decline.
So what affects cell quality and renewal speed? Through continuous research and exploration, scientists have finally discovered the mystery behind it. It turns out that everything is related to telomeres. Telomere is a small DNA protein complex located at the end of the linear chromosome in eukaryotic cells. Its function is to maintain the integrity of the chromosome and control the cell division cycle.
Although this telomere is only a very small piece of DNA at the end of the chromosome, its role is very large, which is related to the length of life. At the beginning, scientists came to different animals to study the relationship between telomere and life span. At the beginning, scientists thought that the length of life span might be related to its length. The longer the telomere, the longer the life span.
However, it was later found that the telomeres of some animals are much longer than those of human beings, but their lifespan is much shorter than that of human beings. It can be seen that the length of lifespan has no direct relationship with the length of telomeres. After further research and comparison, scientists have finally found the relationship between longevity and telomeres. It turns out that the speed of telomere shortening affects the length of life.
Every time cells reproduce to repair damage, their telomeres get shorter. Telomeres may be too short to regenerate throughout life. When this happens, our body’s “battery” will stop working properly. Life is coming to an end.
Studies have shown that human telomeres lose about 70 base pairs per year on average, while mouse telomeres lose as much as 7000 base pairs per year. Such a huge rate of telomere shortening results in a mouse’s life span of only about two years. The main reason why turtles live longer than humans is that the telomeres in their genes are shorter and slower.
Scientists have finally found the root cause of life expectancy, so do we have a way to change the speed of telomere shortening by means of science and technology, so as to increase human life expectancy by a large margin? Theoretically speaking, it is entirely possible, as long as we can uncover all the human gene codes, we can develop methods for telomere.
There are two ways to prolong human life by changing telomeres. One is to use genetic technology to slow down the shortening of telomeres after each cell division while the length of existing telomeres remains unchanged. Another way is to make telomeres longer through genetic technology. As long as the length of telomeres can be doubled, then human life expectancy can be doubled.
Of course, if we want to achieve this, we can’t do it with the current human technology. For us, the genetic code of life is still a huge mystery, and we may only have uncovered the tip of their iceberg. In fact, the life span of human beings is not as short as we think. Although the average life span of human beings is only over 70 years old, the normal limit life span of human beings should be over 120 years old.
The reason why most people can’t live a long life above 100 years old is related to our daily life, diet, exercise, surrounding environment and mentality. As long as we usually pay attention to healthy diet, and then adhere to the appropriate exercise, can have a clear living environment, have a good attitude, then live to 100 years old is no problem.
But the reality is often very cruel, human living standards are getting higher and higher, no longer hungry, but rarely able to eat healthy, often eat some junk food, toxic food, the so-called disease from the mouth, so the probability of people getting sick is getting higher and higher.
With the aggravation of environmental pollution and the deterioration of ecology, if you want to find a clean and healthy environment, you can only live in the mountains and forests. However, the reality tells us that it is impossible. People will feel lonely if they are far away from the city. Young people need to work hard and are doomed to be unable to stay away from the city. Therefore, we are constantly invaded by polluted air every day. Due to various factors, we could have lived for 120 years, but only for 70 years.
Of course, with the continuous progress of human science and technology, the life span of human beings will continue to increase in the future. As long as we can solve the mystery of telomere and believe that there is no problem living for hundreds of years, we will not envy the life span of turtles at that time. In the future life circle of nature, human beings are not only the overlord at the top of the food chain, but also the longest living body.
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