keywords: biological immortality, aging, regeneration, regeneration medicine

Related projects

Joaquín Fargas

Immortality, http://www.joaquinfargas.com/en/obra/immortality/, http://www.joaquinfargas.com/en/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Immortality.pdf

The installation is composed by a bioreactor containing living heart cells and a multimedia system. The cells are kept alive into a Petri dish, a container that allows them to be feed with nutrients and to grow over a substrate. The cells are heart rat cells that have no information in their DNA about ageing.

BiteLabs

Eat Celebrity Meat, http://www.bitelabs.org/, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E1wg9fCmbT4

BiteLabs grows meat from celebrity tissue samples and uses it to make artisanal salami.

Robertina Šebjanič

Aurelia 1+Hz / proto viva generator, http://robertina.net/aurelia-1hz/, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O0vNEjU-qFE

"Aurelia 1+Hz / proto viva generator addresses the possibilities of coexistence of animals and machines. In contrast to robots, which are driven by digital artificial intelligence, the project uses a live organism to process the “aliveness” of a simple machine." The project features an immortal jellyfish Turnitosis dohmii which is found in the Mediterranean Sea and in the waters of Japan. (http://robertina.net/aurelia-1hz/)

Discourse

Through the history various ways to "extend" lives of living organisms were used: paraffin impregnation, embalming, plastination, cryopreservation, taxidermy, mummification.

Mummification refers back to the times when humans believed in postmortem life into which they would be reborn through their preserved bodies. In ancient Egypt an intact body was an integral part of a person's afterlife. Mummification process in that sense was an important element which dealt with the basic human fear — the fear of death.

Since Ancient Egypt this belief in afterlife has gone through many stages and even transformed into the new belief of immortality without body, suggesting alternative modes of further existence such as downloading your brain into the silicon machine (see for example Kurzweil, R. The Singularity is Near, Penguin Group, 2005). The present culture is marked by obsession with the perfect-body-cult what is otherwise called quantified-self (see for example Wolf, G. Know Thyself: Tracking Every Facet of Life, from Sleep to Mood to Pain, 24/7/365). To mention is also a question of saving humanity in case the Earth is getting into trouble (see for example Professor Stephen Hawking: Humanity will not survive another 1,000 years if we don’t escape our planet, http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/professor-stephen-hawking-humanity-wont-survive-1000-years-on-earth-a7417366.html).

Immortal Organisms

Some degree of immortality is seen in Hydra, jellyfish Turritopsis nutricula, Tardigrades, Planarian flatworms and Bacteria.

Immortal Cells

"An immortalised cell line is a population of cells from a multicellular organism which would normally not proliferate indefinitely but, due to mutation, have evaded normal cellular senescence and instead can keep undergoing division." (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immortalised_cell_line)

See for example cancerous cell -> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cancer

Workshop (Mummifying a fruit)

Egyptians for drying out process were using natron, because of its ability to absorb water and dry out substances. In changing conditions natron reacts with water creating a hostile environment for the bacteria and this way it may preserve the body from further damage.

Natron is a naturally found mixture of the following ingredients:

  • washing soda (main ingredient) sodium carbonate decahydrate (Na2CO3·10H2O, soda ash Na2CO3
  • baking soda (main ingredient) 17% sodium bicarbonate NaHCO3)
  • table salt (small quantities found) sodium chloride NaChl
  • Glaubers salt (small quantities found) sodium sulfate Na2SO4

Step One: Prepare a mixture of baking soda and washing soda adding a pinch of salt and a pinch of Gauber's salt.
Step Two: prepare the apple for drying out its outer skin by taking its inner parts out with a sharp tool.
Step Three: Place the fruit in the mixture making sure it is fully covered. Leave it in the mixture at least for one week.
Leave it uncovered so the moisture can escape.

References