Longevity Treatment
A technological means of delaying aging


(permanent link) added: 2012-08-16 05:44:06 sponsor: zarpaulus (last reply: 2012-09-06 00:05:17)

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In many science-fiction works, both Cyber Punk and Space Opera, it's not uncommon for humans, or at least the upper classes, to live for centuries. Most often this reason is some form of technology ranging from alien substances to gene therapy to nanomachines.

A subtrope of Immortality Inducer, usually results in Long Lived or The Ageless.

Film
  • In In Time the aging gene has been "shut down" freezing aging at 25. But to prevent overpopulation and present an anvilicious message about income disparity people are programmed to die at a certain time and use their remaining time as currency.

Literature
  • Rejuv in the Alliance/Union universe is made from a lifeform native to Cyteen and delays aging up to a century. Side effects include sterility and loss of hair color.
  • The spice melange in Dune can extend lifespans up to three hundred years.
  • The Red Mars series features a specialized gene therapy referred to as a "gerontological treatment". The books span over two hundred years and most the major characters, many of whom where already in their 40s-50s at the start of the series, are alive and active that entire time due to repeated use of the treatment.
  • In Heinlein's future history series, particularly Methuselah's Children and Time Enough for Love humanity develops a form of rejuvenation through blood replacement after a group of naturally long-lived people reveal themselves and then hijack a starship when the rest of the species demand they reveal their "secret". Later more advanced methods including complete body replacement are developed.
  • In the The Takeshi Kovacs Series people are implanted with "cortical stacks" at birth that record one's brain state so that when they die they can be "resleeved" in a new body.
  • In Norman Spinrad's Bug Jack Barron, an investigative reporter and consumer advocate begins investigating an organization that provides rejuvenation treatments to the rich and powerful, and finds far more than he bargained for.
  • Roger Zelazny:
    • In Lord of Light, the so-called "Gods" (actually mutant humans) have mind-transfer technology that they use to reward or punish people. Be good, and you may end up with a bright, shiny new young body. Be bad, and you may end up with the old, worn-out body left by someone who was good.
    • In Creatures of Light and Darkness, the technologically advanced world of Blis has more-or-less eliminated death by old age. Death is so rare that the few who volunteer for suicide can leave their heirs a legacy by selling tickets to watch the death.
  • In John Scalzi's Old Man's War, rejuvenation treatment via consciousness transfer to a genetically enhanced body is only available to military personnel--and the minimum age for joining the military is seventy-five.
  • In Wil McCarthy's The Queendom of Sol series, you can "print" a new body for yourself, and then have your mind transferred into it.
  • Larry Niven's Known Space stories
    • Boosterspice (a drug derived from genetically engineered ragweed) can tremendously extend the human lifespan.
    • Ringworld. There is an equivalent to boosterspice available on the title space construct.
    • A World Out of Time has an immortality treatment for adults that involves removing impurities from the body.
  • The prolong treatments in the Honor Harrington books. It's most blatant example is Honor's mother, Allison, who at 90 is still very attractive and capable of bearing children. And since Honor is a second generation recipient,she's likely to live even longer.
  • Citizens of The Culture are genetically engineered to live for centuries, longer if they feel like it.
  • In John Norman's Gor novels, the Caste of Physicians developed a treatment called the Stabilization Serums, which allowed the recipient to live for hundreds of years. The Priest-Kings, the Physical Gods of the setting have a similar treatment, the oldest being about 5,000,000 years old.

Tabletop Games
  • Anagathic drugs in Traveller.
  • A couple of nanosymbionts in GURPS Transhuman Space extend life expectancy by 10 years and expensive "rejuvenation" treatments can actually reverse the aging process.
  • The space marines' biological enhancements in Warhammer40000 allow them to live a millenium or more. Unenhanced human nobles have "rejuvenat" implied to be made from children.
  • The CCG Illuminati has the "immortality serum" card that makes a personality indestructible and can also cause an opponent's personality to defect.
  • Eclipse Phase mentions longevity treatments as part of the backstory. Though they're apparently obsolete now (outside the Junta) since longevity is included in most Basic Biomods and Brain Uploading is commonplace.

Video Games
  • The Sims 2 features a carnivorous plant that produces a substance that when drunk gives a Sim an extra day of life.
  • In the Mass Effect series humans commonly live to 150 or so due to gene therapies and drugs. Putting us in the mid-range for lifespans in that universe.
  • Several forms appear in Sid Meierís Alpha Centauri:
    • There is a secret project called 'The Longevity Vaccine' and another one called 'Clinical Immortality'.
    • It is mentioned that the player character goes through some sort of gene therapy on a regular basis to explain how they stay alive for the full five centuries of the game.
    • One of the other characters is said to have kept a strict 'longevity regimen'.

Web Comics
  • A plot point in Schlock Mercenary is "Project Laz'r'us" which was intended to circumvent humanity's short lifespans in comparison to many other sophonts using hyper-advanced nanotechnology. The nannies are also capable of repairing a clinically dead host and even making internal backups of the brain.
  • In the future of S.S.D.D the wealthy are able to afford implants that extend lifespans until an accident kills them. At least two of Maytec's board of directors are in their fifties and appear to be twenty.
  • In Freefall life extension drugs are apparently available over the counter. At one point Florence (an uplifted red wolf) states that her projected lifespan of 160 years is slightly shorter than a human's.
  • In Escape From Terra rejuvenation treatments are one of many examples of bio- and nano- technology that are officially banned on earth. Reggie King and Babbette the elder undergo the treatment on Mars, and the first man on Mars is a great-great-great-grandparent who looks no older than thirty.
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