Imagine product names like Ageless, Forever, or Pubé from the likes of Avon, Pfizer or Mary Kay meeting the plot of 1988 film Alien Nation: slave laborers work tirelessly, to the point of near-death, yet continue to drudge on, as they remain transfixed on their chemical reward—in their case it was a fictional narcotic.  In our case it could be pharmaceutical youth.

Russian scientist Vladimir Skulachev seems to have a handle on bringing the process of aging to an end.  However, putting a price tag on such a development has some rather grim implications.  As with nearly all other profit-based motives, we are setting ourselves up for the possibility of an ugly circumstance in which only the wealthy shall endure.

“99% of the time oxygen turns into harmless water, but there's that one percent that turns into a super-oxide that later turns into very poisonous elements,” Vladimir Skulachev, Professor of Bioenergetics, reveals via Russia Today. “So the task was to find an anti-oxidant that stops that process.”

Aubrey de Grey, a British scientist and author, has also been working against aging as well.  In a popular online video de Gray, while trying to win his audience over to the concept of “defeating aging” asked for those in favor of malaria to raise their hand.  None did.  De Gary then asked, “Why should we cure aging?”  The answer is simple: “Because it kills people,” indeed, “considerably more than malaria.”

“Becoming frail and miserable and dependent is no fun.”  When the romantic mystique and allure of rusting gracefully into an appearance like that of Gandalf subsides, it seems de Gray is putting up a solid argument (senile cataracts, arthritis and colonoscopies aren’t fun), but what of the commercialization of agelessness?

Skulachev’s findings are one of the advances listed by the late Robert Anton Wilson in his description of a Cosmic Immortal.  “Life seems to be aiming at nothing less than the attainment of divinity.  We are part of the process of evolution from amoebas to Cosmic Immortals.  What are Cosmic Immortals?  Cosmic Immortals are creatures who live anywhere in the universe they damn well please, travel as fast as they want to and never die.  And that’s the idea of a god.  A god goes anywhere, never dies and moves as fast as a god wants to move.  That is what we are evolving towards gradually.”

See the video:

Image by JudeanPeoplesFront on Flickr Courtesy of Creative Commons Licensing