A quick look at global life expectancies through the years confirms what many of us already know. People are living longer all the time, thanks to advancements in medicine, improvements in quality of life, and decreased infant mortality. It’s easy to assume that your great-great-grandchildren, or great-great-great-grandchildren, will effortlessly live into the triple-digits, far surpassing current possibilities.

However, a closer examination of the graph above will reveal an important caveat: every single graph is concave down. That is, while life expectancy is increasing, the rate of change of life expectancy is slowing. …


At some point in your life, you’ve probably been told that breakfast is the most important meal of the day — and maybe you believed it. Maybe it made logical sense that skipping what fuels your morning and gets you off to a good start would negatively impact your health. And maybe you inexplicably associate that phrase with an athletic, supportive (if overeager) tiger.

If that phrase triggers cravings for Frosted Flakes, Special K, or other morning staples, it's not a coincidence. The phrase was coined by Dr. John Harvey Kellogg himself — and it’s not totally off-base. …


For the past few weeks, I have spent hours each day with my new best friends. These friends don’t talk (though I often find myself talking to them), preferring to wriggle around and occasionally chase their own tails. Despite being nearly identical, after so much time in their company I’ve become able to tell them apart. And a few days ago, after outlasting their typical lifespan by a shocking fifteen days, my new friends, sadly, began to die.

My companions, during their approximately twenty-five days on this earth, were C. elegans — one millimeter long, transparent nematodes that share a…


For many, the first indication something is wrong comes at the end of the first trimester. A nuchal translucency (NT) screening is given at the dating ultrasound, and the results are abnormal. For older women, and those who have been down this path with previous children, all hope is shattered. For those under the age of 35 — who account for 80% of all incidences of Down Syndrome— the shock and disbelief are overwhelming. Further testing is recommended: amniocentesis, which involves removing a small amount of amniotic fluid. …


In Tuck Everlasting, it’s a forest spring. In Jitterbug Perfume, it’s beets. And in Twilight, it’s being bit by Edward Cullen. Whichever method you prefer, one thing’s for sure: when it comes to immortality, there is no shortage of options — at least if you’re a fictional character. But for those of us a little more grounded in reality, here are the options already available for life extension, ranked by affordability and results.

5. Telomere Extension

Affordability: 3/10

Results: 2/10

Difficulty Level: Medium


When I was eight years old, I went into my vision checkup hoping that I would get glasses. It was unlikely, as my vision had always been good. However, when I covered my left eye, suddenly I couldn’t see… anything. I don’t know how I hadn’t previously realized it, but through my right, the world was a soupy blur of gray with a few scattered bright colors.

Being semi-cycloptic has posed its challenges, to be sure. Even with my super-powerful contact lens, I have no depth perception, making walking into objects a legitimate (though often hilarious for bystanders) risk, sports…


Symptoms include hearing loss, cataracts, arthritis, heart disease, diabetes, depression, and dementia — and that’s just the beginning. It kills 100,000 people every day, and there’s a 67% chance that it will kill you (90% if you live in an industrialized nation). No, it’s not the flu, it’s not HIV, and it’s not alcohol or cigarettes or suicide or pollution. It’s aging.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. Why would I scare you like that? Aging’s not a disease. It happens to everyone. It’s natural. And it’s nothing to be afraid of.

But what I listed in the first paragraph…


If you regularly use the internet, you interact with artificial intelligence every day. There’s no elf hiding inside your Alexa that knows what to do when you ask it to play that new BTS song, there’s no warehouse full of people who look at your search history and choose ads to send you, and the Spirit of Youtube Past doesn’t magically recommend the next video you’ll see. Artificial intelligence isn’t limited to The Terminator, Cleverbot, and that computer-generated Harry Potter chapter that was still better than Cursed Child.

But for all the buzz artificial intelligence gets, and how ingrained it…


In 2012, when it was discovered that a protein called Cas9 (CRISPR associated protein 9) could be used to edit genes with never-before-seen precision, there was instantly widespread discussion of the new possibility of curing innumerable genetic diseases, but also of designer babies, and genetically engineered super-people. However, CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing doesn’t have the precision necessary to make the kinds of changes to cure many diseases — at least not without some collateral damage. But in 2019, an article in Nature outlined a new “search-and-replace” gene-editing technology that offered solutions to some of CRISPR’s biggest flaws. …

Katie Silverman

16-year-old human-longevity researcher, actress, songwriter, TKS Innovator, and marshmallow enthusiast

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store