the weekly

Longo Life

I want to live forever, Valter,
I want eight-hundred-candle cakes.
Here's my genes for you to alter:
I don't care how long it takes.

If you can do it for a fungus,
Help me out, by hook or crook –
Make my year-count so humungous
That it bursts the record-book.

I am full of fire and fervence,
I make no apology –
I may need a team of servants,
Schooled in gerontology,

But I am ready. When it's happened,
Skin like paper, not to mention
Flesh in shreds, just get some slap and
Make me up and pay my pension.

Yes, I know some trauma, minor,
May attend advancing years –
I may be like brittle china.
I don't care. I have no fears.

As things stand, I feel diminished
By the books beside my bed –
All those novels not yet finished,
All those pamphlets not yet read.

I don't care if it sounds selfish,
Or if it is thought a crime.
You'd do it for a snail or shellfish:
Come on, Valter, give me time.

You may be a drongo, Longo,
But enough is not enough.
What's that music? How's the song go?
'Live Forever' – That's the stuff.

click here for article in The Independent

Longo Life
“I don't think it's going to be very complicated to get to 120 and remain healthy, but at a certain point I think it will be possible to get people to live to 800. I don't think there is an upper limit to the life of any organism.” - geneticist Valter Longo, of the University of Southern California, after creating a yeast fungus that lived for 10 weeks instead of 7 days.
23 January 2008


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