Norton Anti Virus for Humans

Have you ever noticed how your computer gets slower over time? Those of you with Macs are probably less likely to know what I am talking about. But you Windows users who frequently surf the web understand.

The internet and our computers have become complex ecosystems of viruses and programs interacting in ways that we cannot predict. Your computer accumulates viruses or other malware by virtue of simply doing day to day activities. Over time these accumulated bits of interacting code (malware and programs) start to slow down your computer. Like an aging mind. What if the aging process is a result of a biological equivalent of the over accumulation of “programs” and “malware”?

Over the course of our evolution, our DNA and our Microbiomes may have accumulated opportunistic life-like processes (some life forms too) that cause us to age. I don’t want to limit it to life forms as we know it because there are some biological processes and interactions that are somewhat life-like, but not exactly alive.

Human Microbiome

Human Microbiome

Unlike a computer, our operating system is not so easily hacked. Hence, it takes generations for other life processes to cozy up to a larger organism like us and integrate. The end result is the same. A gradual overload/decline of/in the system. Maybe we can develop some sort of a biological “Norton Antivirus” that goes in and removes the harmful life processes that cause us to age.

19 thoughts on “Norton Anti Virus for Humans

  1. Ann

    i’ve never had an anti-virus that helped my computer go faster, i have a theory that they are virus in and of themselves. However, a biological self-diagnostic would be amazing and something i would line up for and pay any amount to have!

  2. Jackson

    In the future, I believe everyone will be given a dose of nanobots at birth. The bots will stay in our bloodstream, respiratory system, muscle tissue and organs waiting for viruses, harmful bacteria, even tissue damage from injuries and do whatever is needed to effect repairs. I say our, but I’ll be long gone by the time this technology is in common use, but it will come.

  3. Heather

    so would people live forever then? what about over-population? would flesh be able to stay unaged or healthy as well? or would our consciousness be transferred into some sort of computer? really interesting concept, i’d love to know more!

  4. Eric

    It will not be long before cloning, genetic engineering and DNA manipulation are applied to humans as well as plant, insects and animals. The technology exists, but just as was the case going back centuries, religious fanatics that want to keep humanity in the dark ages fight to stop, or at best delay man becoming the creator of man. However, the church lost its battle to deny that the world is round, that it does revolve around the sun, that only angels and birds can fly, and so on. It will be just a matter of time, wasted time, before progress will advance humanity to the point we live disease free, and for a very long time. Overpopulation will be resolved through colonization of the universe, where even greater discoveries will advance our species. So of course a sort of Norton Antivirus will be developed to clean our aging bodies of all that is negatively affects it’s proper functioning.

  5. leah k

    I think Eric is on to something. Religion and Government like to hold back progress, that has been proven time after time. Science has been impeded with the world being round as he mentioned, but think about how the goverment and big business have impeded alternative fuel sources for cars. its always something to do with money. why does greed have to be such an all-powerful emotion for people? we need to get our society functioning in a way that doesn’t poison our planet, and to do that we need a money-less society where people are driven by being helpful and being happy with what they do.

  6. Jasmine2015

    A Norton Virus protection for humans sounds like a cool idea. Though will viruses evolve to the point where they are no longer killed off by our “Norton Virus” protection? How do we keep evolving bacteria and viruses in check?

  7. ScooterBrandon

    At first glance I though “but we do! It’s called our immune system!” but then I read the full article.
    the idea is interesting, some sort of system or mechanism for not only keeping us free from disease, but also help to fight the cumulative effects of aging.
    Perhaps it could be even an upgrade to our own immune system!

  8. Liv6

    I think we as a world attempt to slow down this aging development via medicines and surgery. However, it would be interesting if we developed a sort of debugging process for humans; I believe that scientists are getting closer to this ideal each year. However, no anti-virus program is perfect, and I’m sure the same could be said of whatever is devised in the near future. Thank you for the article!

  9. guruproto

    I’m going to piggyback off some of the previous posts and say that nanobots could be just the antivirus that our “system” needs. Recent trends in medical science has been steering towards the use of nanobots to deliver vaccines and medication over time. As of late, the experiments have been limited to lab rats, but the results look promising. From what I’ve read the nanobots were used to deliver medication to the lining of the stomach and were able to comfortably do so over the course of several months (please do not quote; this is not a definite number).

    If there are processes that accumulate in our system as we age, then nanobots can be the answer. They can be like fluoride in the water – they protect our bodies from slowly decaying.

  10. thecorinthian

    I have never thought of aging that way but you could be right. I always thought aging was as natural as dying but if we take away all those diseases, genetic abnormalities and viruses then indeed we can possibly live forever. I wonder though if immortality is conducive to the atmosphere and environment of Earth. Because day by day the Earth also ages in its own way, we first have to stop our planet from dying before we think of ourselves. But ofcourse we can just leave this planet in a billion years time but what does that say about the human race? I’m liking the way you think btw it’s creative, informative and curious at the same time.

  11. Potatoman

    When you say a “Norton Anti virus”, are you saying something used to eliminate all viruses? If so, that would probably be the biggest break through in biological medicine advancement. It’s difficult or impossible to actually treat most virus’ but to have one single cure for all virus’? That’s something that could only be seen in sci fi movies. Great post and very interesting but I don’t think there is any possible way for it to happen

    1. kate

      Given we’ve had cases of a computer anti-virus deciding it doesn’t like graphics drivers, a Norton Anti-virus for humans could have some very unexpected side effects. All humans already have a virus as part of their DNA. Biologically, the human genome contains a gene called syncytin, which turned out to be a dormant virus incorporated into the DNS strands at an early age. It is the gene that permits pregnancy without the mother rejecting the child. Without it reproduction is impossible.

      Any anti-virus would have to handle the issue of beneficial viruses very carefully, as otherwise you can remove things necessary to the function of the organism.

    2. anorexorcist

      I agree with you, it would be really complicated for people to create such injection, and I think that it would be a really large or potential dose, because we’re talking about absolutely every single virus, and that’s a lot to cover! But as you’ve said, of this is possible one day, the medicine would have made a huge step in humanity.

  12. Sparkster

    I’m pretty sure they are already on to this. Just look at all the nanotechnology now being developed. Google X, for example, have developed a nano-pill which once swallowed makes it’s way around the body detecting cancer cells. They have also developed contact lenses which allows diabetics to check their blood-sugar levels using their tears!

  13. joshc428

    I believe we already have a rudimentary antivirus: our immune system. Of course it has faults, allowing the occasional intruder to leave us bedridden for a few days, but it keeps out most invaders from even getting inside the body. And if one does slip by its defenses, there are lots of ways to shut it down. With new medications and advancements in the medical field, we’re assisting our biological antivirus with added supplements. However, something like nanobots with stronger capabilities and recognition softwares would definitely help fight against the more malignant biological malaware.

  14. ISKMogul

    Aging is a natural process of cellular decay and death. At some point with this hypothetical system there would be the potential for immune systems and these supplemental “anti-virus” nanobots being incompatible. The need to replace dying cells to prevent aging would reach a tipping point where humans would be replaced to the point of being made up of a majority of inorganic cells. Then there’s also the over-population that would be caused by slowing aging.

  15. anorexorcist

    Lol! Imagine that, people creating Norton antivirus injections. I have actually thought about this before, what if what is really making us age it’s the environment and the food that we are eating? What would happen if a human would be exposed to a completely sterile environment only? Their aging process would be the same as our own process?
    That would be an interesting but controversial project.

  16. rz3300

    Well the whole idea is intriguing, I must say. I must also say that if there is such a program out there I could certainly benefit from it, as I am sure we all could. There are a lot of similarities between ourselves and computers, and I always think to systems dynamics to make that point. That said, there are things that we can learn, and I curious to read how are others are really drawing those ties. Interesting stuff, and thanks for sharing.

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