Highlander, Superman, Doctor Who, The Immortal.
These television shows reflect on our obsession with the idea of defeating death and living long past our expected lifetimes. Fortunately, science is scrambling to keep up with the demand.
Hell, there is even a prize for reversing the aging process.
Our DNA naturally divides and wanes with the aid of Telomerase, a base enzyme that holds DNA together. Scientists have developed ways to regenerate Telomerase, causing faster cell regeneration and healing. The process requires gene therapy to enhance and unlock our existing genetic potential.
On the subject of gene therapy; Octopi, Tortoises, Lobsters, and Clams are all immortal animals that humans find delicious. While eating these animals does nothing to prolong life; scientists are working on splicing human and animal DNA. Currently, we have more success with binding Human DNA to animals to grow spare organs or make m*thaf*ckers glow. Some animals are especially valuable in this field such as the Axolotl(Mexican Salamander), a amphibian with the capacity to grow into adulthood without undergoing metamorphosis, It is forever a teenager. It can regenerate limbs,organs, parts of its heart and brain.
Of course, there are creatures in nature that are even better at Gene Splicing than we are such as the Bdelloids. They steal DNA from countless other animals and can live millions of years under the harshest of conditions or Godzilla attack.
The lighter side of the scale seems to be straight up cloning ourselves. Or at least cloning body parts. Human cloning is technically legal in the United States despite sanctions against cloning research. Recently, President Obama lifted bans on Stem-Cell research funding, but still strongly opposes human cloning.
Lastly, we have a very promising contender in using Nanotechnology to rebuild our cells from the inside. Once inside, the tiny Dr.Robocops (patent-pending) would be able to “detect” disease and infections as well as pew-pew them away.
Ray Kurzweil, an Engineer at Google, believes that the Technological Singularity will occur soon allowing nanotech and human bodies to become one as well as cloud based human brain upload. He hypothesizes that immortality will be readily available by 2045.
Here is a snippet of my favorite Documentary on the subject of Immortality: