Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Nematodes

Many years ago I read that scientists had discovered a way to triple the lifespan of nematodes and they thought eventually they might be able to do the same thing for humans. Every stage of the little worms lives was three times as long.
Let's see....
If that happened to humans we'd be pregnant for 27 months and be awakened by crying babies most nights for several years. Potty training and the terrible twos would last three times as long. Eventually we'd have (and be) teenagers for 24 years. Let's not even think about how long we'd have to deal with hot flashes and, for some people, the aches and pains of old age might last for about 90 years.
Thanks, but no thanks.
No wonder we've never heard any more about those experiments! You don't have to be a scientist to figure out that it's better to leave the long lives to the worms.

4 comments:

Susanne Drazic said...

I've always said I'd like to live to be 100, memory intact and still going as strong as I possibly can at that age. Don't think it would be a good thing to stretch that out to 300 years though.

Janet Ann Collins said...

Living to be 100 isn't that unusual anymore.

KDL said...

You are so right! Everyone seems to think that living longer would be wonderful (fountain of youth and all that) but when you consider stretching the challenges along with the years it doesn't sound so appealing. I have sometimes thought that this is one of the reasons that coping with developmental delays is so hard. The phases come more slowly, but they also last longer.

Janet Ann Collins said...

Thanks for the comment.
When I was a substitute teacher I knew an 18 year old girl whose parents insisted the school tried again to teach her to read although she'd been unable to learn that before. They did, and the girl was reading at third grade level in a year.