Will Google's new project make humans immortal?

Scientists have already reversed aging in some experiments. Google's newest company wants to defeat death building on these discoveries. Can it be done?

Nobody can really tell at this point, but it may be within reach. In fact, some life extension scientists think it may happen in about 20 years. For now, however, it's all experiments and theories—nothing truly applicable to humans. There have been plenty of failures too.

But even if immortality and stem-cell regenerative health technology can materialize one day, it's probable that none of us would be able to drink from this fountain of youth, the holy grail that Humanity has been looking for in the past millennia.

If it arrives in 20 years, as some experts say, it will probably be only available to a few. That will be fine for the founders of Calico, of course. And if there is an unforeseen breakthrough that will be make it available for everyone on Earth, it will not be paradise.

The potential consequences of both paths could be very negative. If immortality and regenerative health technology are only available to a few, there will be a separation of humans between rich immortal gods—the 1-percent—and the rest of us, poor mortals.

If it's available for everyone, there will have to be a prohibition of reproduction to avoid overpopulation and the destruction of the planet. If that happens, imagine the consequences of denying ourselves the possibility of having new people on Earth. The idea of not ever having another Einstein is a terrifying one—even if the smart people already alive would be able to develop their intellects and build on their knowledge for centuries instead of just a few decades.

For now, however, this is all speculation. We can only look at what has been done so far and dream—or have nightmares—about what lies ahead.

Is immortality really possible?

How soon can it happen?

Would it only be accessible to a few people?

What will happen if everyone can be immortal?

How will immortality affect us?

The problems with current rejuvenation therapies

What's Google's Calico project?