Imagine if you could decelerate the activity of the cells, or some growth related hormone or gene. Could you cause an aging deceleration to some extent? Almost like being able to 'freeze' the body of a person at a specific age for a very long time.

Something similar to immortality.

Almost no more degenerative diseases.

No tumors.

In which surreal medical developments and paths could this lead?

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    $\begingroup$ I do not understand your question. Are you asking how medicine would develop in a world where people are made "immortal" (and the medical profession could focus their efforts on something else) or are you asking for negative side effects and diseases the patients would suffer (like dying pretty quickly because dead cells do not get replaced quick enough) or are you even interested how one would slow down the cell activity? $\endgroup$
    – Raditz_35
    Jul 6, 2017 at 11:49
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Welcome to WorldBuilding! If you have a moment please take the tour and visit the help center to learn more about the site. Also please edit your question to provide the requested clarification. Have fun on the site! $\endgroup$
    – Secespitus
    Jul 6, 2017 at 11:52

2 Answers 2


Unfortunately, slowing down cellular activity will only slow down the organism as a whole. If you wanted to alter ageing by manipulating gene it would be necessary to do so to the genes (assuming they exist) related to ageing. Slowing down growth hormones would only slow down growth.

To maintain a person at an almost constant age would require major manipulations of their cellular and biomolecular processes. However, none of this is by no means certain. Much ageing is simply due to wear and tear on parts of the body or are the result of chance outcomes of metabolic processes.

Some degenerative diseases are gene-base, but definitely not all, and they might eventually be fixed. Tumours are the result of complex combinations of a person's genetic makeup and environmental factors.

Decelerating various cellular or biochemical activities will not solve any of these problems or producing de facto immortality. The trouble is ageing, cancers and biological pathways to immortality are vastly more complicated and difficult than that.

PS: If it's any consolation, you are already semi-immortality. You will live on through your children.

PPS: You do need to forget about the survival of your personality post-mortem though to benefit from your semi-immortality.

  • $\begingroup$ PPPS: don't bother about immortality, you are just a smart way that DNA molecules found to maintain themselves. DNA is immortal as long as it is transmitted $\endgroup$
    – L.Dutch
    Jul 6, 2017 at 13:01
  • $\begingroup$ @L.Dutch not really - you don't transmit DNA that you were made of because all DNA you had at first was only as much as it is in 2 cells. And don't forget about mutations that happen from generation to generation $\endgroup$
    – NoOorZ24
    Jul 6, 2017 at 13:08

Your assumptions are actually totally incorrect.

If you think of slowing cells down:

  1. That would make you weak - and I really mean weak - you couldn't do anything because you couldn't use energy in your body it would be like being paralyzed.
  2. If we forget that you would be a potato - injuries couldn't repair them selves fast enough and you would slowly destroy yourself.

Talking about cancer: cancer cells are cells that mutate and refuse to die. Every day our bodies get rid of some of this kinda cells. Problem starts when they don't so that cell replicates in another cell that refuses to die and so on. If your cells die off at slower rate that means cancer cells have more time as well, so that actually increases your chances to die from cancer.

Solution: There is actual limit of how many times a cells can be replaced and that sets our limit of maximum lifespan. You should find a way to stop this number of existing. I could write a lot about this but there is a video that will explain it for you better than I would: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_dDqFB-PjWg


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