Stopping the Aging Process May Be Mathematically Impossible

Stopping the Aging Process May Be Mathematically Impossible

Researchers find that removing low-functioning cells can slow aging—but allows cancer cells to proliferate

By Meilan Solly

The quest for immortality is almost as old as humanity itself. From Sumerian king Gilgamesh to Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León to modern-day biomedical researcher Aubrey de Grey, people have long searched for the secret to everlasting life. But we still haven’t found it—and, according to new research, we are likely searching in vain.

Joanna Masel, ecology and evolutionary biologist at the University of Arizona, and postdoctoral student Paul Nelson argue that it’s mathematically impossible to slow aging in multicellular organisms. They recently detailed their findings in a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

“Aging is mathematically inevitable—like, seriously inevitable. There’s logically, theoretically, mathematically no way out,” Masel says in a press release