Girl who never ages could hold key to ‘biological immortality,’ researcher says

TLC’s '40-Year-Old Child: A New Case’ special will look into what Gabby Williams, the 8-year-old with the body of an infant, and others with mysterious conditions that drastically slow their aging process have in common.


Eight-year-old Gabby Williams weighs only 11 pounds.

The tiny girl from Billings, Mont., still looks like an infant and needs to be cared for as if she is a newborn, with her mother and father changing her diapers and feeding her multiple times a day.

Her mother, Mary Margret Williams, told that Gabby hasn’t changed much over the years. In fact, her skin still feels like a baby’s and her hair is still fine-textured.

“She has gotten a little longer and we have jumped into putting her in size 3-6 month clothes instead of 0-3 months for the footies,” she said.


Gabby is one of only a few people with a baffling condition that seems to prevent them from aging. It’s so rare that scientists have yet to coin an official name for it.

TLC shared Gabby’s story back in 2011 in a special called “My 40-Year-Old Child.” The hour-long documentary also profiled 40-year-old Nicky Freeman, an Australian man with the appearance of a 10-year-old.

Scientists have since discovered two more people with similar cases of the mysterious syndrome: a 29-year-old Florida man with the appearance of a 10-year-old, and a 31-year-old Brazilian woman who still looks like a toddler. Their stories, along with Gabby’s, are part of a follow-up TLC special that airs on Monday at 10 p.m. ET.

The show chronicles medical researcher Richard Walker’s search for clues as to why these individuals don’t age and what they have in common.


Perhaps these amazing people even hold the secret to eternal youth.

Walker explained that “developmental inertia,” or physiological change, is vital for human growth.

“Without that process we never develop,” he told “When we develop, all the pieces of our body come together and change and are coordinated. Otherwise, there would be chaos.”

However, the body continues to change once it reaches maturity, and there is no way to stop the process.

Walker said he believes he found one of the genes responsible for developmental inertia. He also said the mutations are on the regulatory genes on the second female X chromosome.

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**disclaimer: I have no problem with research for diseases like alzheimer’s but I wonder what the true motives are here…I sincerely hope and cynically suspect that many involved are interested in finding some “fountain of youth.”

Turritopsis Nutricula

Most jellyfish species have a relatively fixed life span, which varies by species from hours to many months (long-lived mature jellyfish spawn every day or night; the time is also fairly fixed and species-specific).The medusa of Turritopsis nutricula is the only form known to have developed the ability to return to a polyp state, by a specific transformation process that requires the presence of certain cell types.

This ability to reverse the life cycle (in response to adverse conditions) is probably unique in the animal kingdom, and allows the jellyfish to bypass death, rendering Turritopsis nutricula potentially biologically immortal.

Watch on

‘Immortal’ Cells:  Is It Biologically Possible For Humans To Live Forever?” from the HuffPostScienceYT Youtube channel.  Host Cara Santa Maria discusses “biological immortality”.  Any creature that is biologically immortal will never die from old age alone.  Is it possible that scientists may soon be able to prolong the life of cells or prevent cellular aging all together?  While some are skeptical, there are those who believe human immortality maybe become a reality within only a few decades.  Would you live forever given the chance?  It may be strange to think that this could become a choice that people are able to make in the near future.

Lengthening telomeres

The phenomenon of limited cellular division was first observed by Leonard Hayflick, and is now referred to as the Hayflick limit. Significant discoveries were made by the team led by Professor Elizabeth Blackburn at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF).

Advocates of human life extension promote the idea of lengthening the telomeres in certain cells through temporary activation of telomerase (by drugs), or possibly permanently by gene therapy. They reason that this would extend human life because it would extend the Hayflick limit. So far these ideas have not been proven in humans, but it has been demonstrated that telomere extension has successfully reversed some signs of aging in laboratory mice [14][15] and the nematode worm species Caenorhabditis elegans.[16] However, it has been hypothesized that longer telomeres and especially telomerase activation might cause increased cancer (e.g. Weinstein and Ciszek, 2002). However, longer telomeres might also protect against cancer, because short telomeres are associated with cancer. It has also been suggested that longer telomeres might cause increased energy consumption.[13]

Techniques to extend telomeres could be useful for tissue engineering, because they might permit healthy, noncancerous mammalian cells to be cultured in amounts large enough to be engineering materials for biomedical repairs.

That the role of telomeres is far from being understood is demonstrated by two recent studies on long-lived seabirds. In 2003, scientists observed that the telomeres of Leach’s Storm-petrel (Oceanodroma leucorhoa) seem to lengthen with chronological age, the first observed instance of such behaviour of telomeres.[17] In 2006, Juola et al.[18] reported that in another unrelated, long-lived seabird species, the Great Frigatebird (Fregata minor), telomere length did decrease until at least c.40 years of age (i.e. probably over the entire lifespan), but the speed of decrease slowed down massively with increasing ages, and that rates of telomere length decrease varied strongly between individual birds. They concluded that in this species (and probably in frigatebirds and their relatives in general), telomere length could not be used to determine a bird’s age sufficiently well. Thus, it seems that there is much more variation in the behavior of telomere length than initially believed.

The Immortal Jellyfish


Jellyfish are barely animals, nevermind fish, and their lifecycle actually includes a lot in common with plants, (which is why plant-like words such as budding and blooms are used).  They start off as larvae, which anchor and become polyps.  Polyps bud medusae, (the actual jellyfish type), which are all genetically identical.  Turritopsis dhornii have the ablity to revert from medusa to polyp, and bud more medusae.  They can repeat this lifecycle any number of times, giving them biological immortality.
Google's Larry Page and Sergey Brin Plan to Cure Aging with Biotech Venture
Google's Larry Page and Sergey Brin want to add 100 years to your life span. Thanks to new breakthroughs, they're not far off.

Anti-aging breakthroughs typically deal with eccentric diet trends or nutritional supplements.

But Google Inc.’s (Nasdaq: GOOG, GOOGL) Larry Page and Sergey Brin have taken anti-aging to a whole new level.

In 2013, Google founded the biotech company Calico along with Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) Chairman Arthur Levinson.

Calico isn’t your typical biotech company. Rather than focusing on diseases, Calico was founded to cureaging.

According to Page, expanding the human life span by as much as 100 years is the company’s goal.

“[Aging and illness] affect us all — from the decreased mobility and mental agility that comes with age, to life-threatening diseases that exact a terrible physical and emotional toll on individuals and families,” Page said in a statement announcing the company. “And while this is clearly a longer-term bet, we believe we can make good progress within reasonable timescales with the right goals and the right people.”

In September 2014, Calico partnered with the $112 billion biotech firm AbbVie Inc. (NYSE: ABBV). Both companies provided $250 million in funding to fight diseases associated with old age. Together, Calico and AbbVie are creating a research center in San Francisco.

And Google isn’t the only company dumping millions of dollars into ending the effects of aging…

Money Pours into Biological Immortality Research

Peter Thiel, hedge fund manager and founder of PayPal, has made anti-aging his next big venture.

Thiel has contributed $3.5 million to the anti-aging non-profit Methuselah Foundation. Its mission is to find drugs that cure types of age-related damage like loss of cells and excessive cell division.

And Thiel is using his nonprofit, Breakout Labs, to fund dozens of other scientists working toward the goal of immortality. So far, he’s given 22 startups anywhere from $50,000 to $350,000.

Larry Ellison, co-founder of Oracle Corp. (NYSE: ORCL), finds accepting mortality “incomprehensible.”

Ellison has donated more than $430 million to anti-aging research. “Death has never made any sense to me. How can a person be there and then just vanish, just not be there?” he told biographer Mike Wilson in 2003.

Peter Diamandis, the founder of the X-Prize and International Space University, has recently founded a company called “Human Longevity Inc.”

This company’s sole purpose is to extend the healthy human life span as long as possible. And Diamandis is offering a $10 million prize for technology that gets us closer to that goal.

And these huge investments are starting to pay off…

A gene therapy treatment is already in advanced clinical trials at Stanford University. In January 2015, it was discovered that the treatment reversed the biological age of 60-year-old human skin and muscle cells by 25 years. After just a “few days of treatment,” the cells became indistinguishable from those of a 35-year-old.

Harvard doctors are researching this too. Recently, they activated the same immortality gene in mice. It extended the average life span from two years to almost four years.

Best of all, these new developments will create one of the greatest investment opportunities of our lifetime. The anti-aging market is expected be worth $345 billion annually by 2018.

When clinical immortality happens, whomever discovers it will be hailed not for stopping the suffering caused by old age, or doing things like making interstellar travel actually realistic, but instead will be beloved for making everyone young and pretty again and potentially forever.

I don’t know if I would rate the chances of it happening this century as even merely “decent”, but there’s still clearly a chance/it’s probably more possible than most people realize. That said I would be very surprised if at least some breakthroughs didn’t happen with regards to life extension and extra quality years, if not necessarily the full anti-aging enchilada. 

There will be upheavals but not the ones everyone would expect from this sort of thing. This deserves a long essay of its own one day. 

Young Girl May Hold Secret to 'Biological Immortality'


Young Girl May Hold Secret to ‘Biological Immortality’

Young Girl May Hold Secret to ‘Biological Immortality’




Video News by NewsLook One doctor believes he can find the answer to immortality through the disease of an 8-year-old girl who doesn’t age.

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Look at this chubby baby! 

What you’re looking at is a freshwater hydra (Hydra viridissima) that forms a symbiotic relationship with algae. It gets some of its energy through photosynthesis, and the rest of it from snaring small prey with those stinging tentacles. 

And it’s biologically immortal. This one I found is only a few weeks old, but it may end up outliving me, or all of human civilization. Not likely, but I’d like to imagine it might happen. 

its-austin0987654321-posts asked:

hi is steven immortal [ by age ]

Hard to say, but I doubt it. It seems that he can somehow affect his developmental age mentally using Gem magic (a la So Many Birthdays), but whether this can work in reverse of his chronological age has not been demonstrated.

It may well be that he’s only able to make himself older than he is chronologically, but not younger, which would mean that Steven is not biologically immortal and, for all intents and purposes, ages like any other human would.

anonymous asked:

I'm a little confused about the Rephs. What I understood (and I could be wrong) is that Rephs aren't born and are kind of "generated" at random times. If that's true, what I'm confused about is how they form families, like the Sargas and the Mesarthim. And if Nashira could live forever, and can't have children, then why does she place value in having blood sovereign? Just curious, I'm a little clueless but these are my favorite books. An how is Warden doing today on this exact day in 2015?

This will be explained in the books, but when Rephaim use the word “family”, it doesn’t mean what we’d usually think it means. Only the Gloss word can capture the precise meaning.

Nashira is biologically immortal, but that doesn’t mean she can’t be destroyed or hurt too badly to continue ruling. There are two blood-sovereigns and a blood-heir in the event that one of them is unable to rule. She had a blood-consort, Warden, for political reasons.

Warden… would probably be in Magdalen right about now, reading a book.


The Turritopsis headquarters and one of its branch clinics.

The Turritopsis Programme officially launched in 2066, after a series of successful human trials where human subjects were able to respond positively to the various stages of tests. The Turritopsis Programme aims to prolong life and achieve immortality. The programme was inspired by the biologically immortal jellyfish Turritopsis Dohrnii, whereby it is able to reverse the biotic cycle and thus bypass death. 

Over the past few decades, researchers have discovered that humans are similarly capable of reversing the biotic cycle through the use of stem cells. Thus the Turritopsis Programme was born, where stem cells are the very core of the programme.

Prior to the human trials, researchers struggled to collect sufficient stem cells from humans for testing. This created a chance for volunteers (aka Donors) to donate their stems cells with a substantial amount of money paid in return. Till now the Turritopsis Programme has been relying on these Donors (the majority of which belong to the Lower Ring) to give up their stem cells in order to sustain the programme. It has been brought to our attention that 70% of Donors fail to survive more than a year after their first extraction, given the vital role stem cells play in the sustaining of body functions. Despite this there has been an increasing number of Donors who have been signing contracts with the programme as they are desperate for money, being under the oppression of the regime, or simply lured by the promise of a sponsored life in the Upper Ring.

anonymous asked:

now imagine if the research and procedure needs samples from someone who is already biologically immortal, aka someone with Fuchsia blood, and assuming Fef has died by the time Meenah takes to the throne, that means all the samples have to come from her, and it leaves her in bad health, while not deadly it leaves her weak and coughing for the rest of her life, of course she would do her best to still act like shes fine and badass

omg Meenah