If you had your eyes set on the holy grail or were determined to reach the fountain of youth, we have got some bad news for you - it is impossible to live forever.
This is after a group of American scientists have confirmed that for humans it is mathematically impossible to beat the ageing process.
Professor Joanna Masel, said: “It doesn’t matter how much you try and stop [cells] from breaking, you can’t.”
While we all know that ageing is a natural part of life, it doesn’t stop us spending all our savings on hair dye and restorative eye cream.
But now a new study from the University of Arizona has confirmed that our attempts are indeed futile, Masel, said: “Aging is mathematically inevitable - like, seriously inevitable. There’s logically, theoretically, mathematically no way out.”
There is some suggestion that because evolutionarily, natural selection is weeding out the things that make us weak and susceptible to disease, eventually we could be a ‘perfect’ flawless human.
However, the solution sadly is not that simple. And this is because as we start to age, this has a dual effect at a cellular level.
On the one hand, cells slow down and start to lose function, like when your hair cells stop making pigment.
But at the same time other cells accelerate their growth rate, which can cause cancerous cells and tumours to form. In fact, the researchers says, everyone develops cancer cells even if they’re not causing symptoms.
Lead author Paul Nelson said: “As you age, most of your cells are ratcheting down and losing function, and they stop growing, as well. But some of your cells are growing like crazy. What we show is that this forms a double bind - a catch-22.
If you get rid of those poorly functioning, sluggish cells, then that allows cancer cells to proliferate and gives them more space to grow.
And if you destroy, or slow down, those cancer cells, then that allows sluggish and poorly functioning cells to accumulate.
“You can fix one problem but you’re stuck with the other one. Things will get worse over time, in one of these two ways or both,” says Nelson.
Because of this, even if natural selection made us perfect, aging would still occur.
As Nelson says: “It’s just something you have to deal with if you want to be a multicellular organism.”