After years of intensive DNA study and research, a noted MIT scientist made a monumental breakthrough. Almost by chance, he isolated a previously-unidentified chemical compound which was somehow associated with the fourth chromosomal pair. No other genome research by his peers had even recognized the odd anomaly. Once the focus of his research team was directed at finding the purpose for this mysterious enzyme, it opened the doorway to a very startling discovery.
For reasons that were unclear at first, they recognized that the hormonal substance became active around puberty. Prior to that point, it was dormant and all of the cells in the human body were capable of near complete regeneration. Afterward, it was a completely different story. Just like the brain-covering plaque associated with mental deterioration in Alzheimer’s patients, this newly discovered protein appeared to metabolize and attack the body’s ability to heal and regenerate. Then, just like the countdown of a bomb timer, the cumulative reaction of this destructive substance triggered a full cellular breakdown over time and eventual death.
Isolating the baffling cause for this time-release reaction became the primary reason for his research. Since the chemical enzyme didn’t exist elsewhere in the body, it was theorized that it’s solitary purpose was to trigger both puberty and aging. The scientist named it the ‘Terminator protein’, in honor of the Hollywood blockbuster. A metaphorical light bulb went off in the minds of his research team. Mankind has always dreamed of a proverbial ‘fountain of youth’. Perhaps the end of aging was right around the corner if they could suppress or destroy it.
A series of intensive medical trials were conducted by pharmaceutical companies to determine if the so-called ‘terminator protein’ could be reduced, blocked, or completely eliminated in human subjects. One experimental drug proved very effective at destroying all traces of it in the body but it came with a devastating side effect. One just as dramatic as the potential for an eternal life breakthrough.
Volunteer test subjects who were administered the trial drug showed remarkable recuperative powers and an absence of aging. This might have been considered the crowning triumph of mankind, had it not been for one major setback; none of the volunteers were able to conceive children afterward. At first, the drug manufacturer assumed the universal sterility was only a temporary side effect. Numerous adjustments were made to their medication without any success in undoing the tragic loss of reproductive capabilities. Soon, a stunning theory was proposed to explain the inconvenient paradox which the scientific community was unprepared for.
“Have you ever considered the reason you can’t have both potential immortality and offspring, is that Nature doesn’t want us to have that? The world has finite resources. If we never die and keep producing children, they will never die either. The Earth can’t support an unlimited population model. This ‘Terminator protein’ you discovered maintains a fair and equal balance for humanity. It allows for the most individuals to have a roughly equal lifespan and the opportunity to produce offspring. Without this necessary limitation, we would soon outgrow our resources. Starvation, overcrowding and the aggregate violence that it would surely produce, would change the world into that of eternal misery. There is an undeniable logic and intelligence in the DNA construction of life on Earth. This protein compound you are interfering with is no coincidence or random evolutionary manifestation to be eliminated. We can have a possibly limitless lifespan or children, but not both.”