The Fox0 Immortality Gene

I’m always fascinated by where writers find their ideas. I was recently reading an article in a Science magazine when up popped a story that would look more at home in a science fiction journal than in a hard science tome. It was fascinating stuff. All about hydra, a genus of small, simple, fresh-water animals that possess radial symmetry. Hydra are predatory animals belonging to the phylum Cnidaria and the class Hydrozoa. They can be found in most unpolluted fresh-water ponds, lakes, and streams in the temperate and tropical regions and can be found by gently sweeping a collecting net through weedy areas. They are multicellular organisms which are usually a few millimeters long and are best studied with a microscope. Biologists are especially interested in Hydra due to their regenerative ability; and that they appear not to age or to die of old age.

Now that’s the part that fascinated me: appear not to age or die of old age. Is that amazing or what! And it does this feat by having a FoxO gene. We do have that in common with the hydra, but we got short-changed somewhere along the way. This all has to do with stem cells, so in the news of late, and us not having the good kind as we age. And so our bodies decline. Ugh.

But there is hope on the horizon. Research groups are hard at work on this and I wish them the very best!

So my feverish mind got busy. How to turn this into a devious plot! To heck with the vampires for a while, I’m going to use a hydra breakthrough as my plot device. And I’m thinking a book that dwells into all the ramifications of such an ability to exist on Earth, for humans to have immortality: over-population being the obvious. And what if the treatment is outrageously expensive? How will that effect humanity?

And so you have it, finding ideas in the most refreshing of places.

Happy writing, everyone. And the very best of the season to you, from all the way up here in central Canada. And loving it!

Best wishes,
January Bain
Storyteller/the Forever Series
Champagne Books



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2 responses to “The Fox0 Immortality Gene

  1. That is such a cool idea. So what happens with the hydras? If they don’t die and don’t age they should be overrunning every body of fresh water on the planet. They obviously don’t, or we would all heard about them.

    • Excellent question, Olga. Turns out the hydras are very tasty to flatworms, crustaceans, and aquatic insects. Guess they’d better be! Thanks for commenting and have a great day. Best, January

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