The Biology of Immortality

  • H. G. StratmannEmail author
Part of the Science and Fiction book series (SCIFICT)


The desire for immortality or to at least live a very long time figures prominently in many legends and writings. The ancient Epic of Gilgamesh depicts that Sumerian king’s fruitless quest to live forever. Early chapters of the Bible describe many individuals living for centuries, up to Methuselah’s 969 years. In Greek mythology humans such as Tithonus could be granted immortality by Zeus, but they might live to regret that gift. (Eos, goddess of the dawn, asked Zeus to make her human lover, Tithonus, immortal. Unfortunately she neglected to request eternal youth for him too. Tithonus continued to age, eventually becoming senile and frail—in one version of the myth, even turning into a cicada—but could not die.). Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels (1726) describes a similar fate for undying “struldbrugs” and the way their country of Luggnagg deals with them.


Down Syndrome Telomere Length Aging Theory Senescent Cell Science Fiction 
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© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.SpringfieldUSA

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