Aging Kazakhstan President Asks His Scientists to Find Fountain of Youth

By Jennifer Welsh | December 9, 2010 6:34 pm

fountain-of-youthAfter almost twenty years in office and 70 years on earth, Nursultan Nazarbayev, president of Kazakhstan, is hoping his country can come together to overcome one last hurdle. He needs the country’s scientists to find him the fountain of youth.

In a speech to students of the newly dedicated Nazarbayev University, a new education and research institution in the Kazakh capital of Astana, the president made clear that he is looking to the researchers to provide him with eternal life, says The Guardian:

The 70-year-old leader stressed in a speech that a new scientific research institute in the capital Astana should study “rejuvenation of the organism,” as well as “the human genome, production of human tissue and creation of gene-based medicines”.

Of course, who wouldn’t want to live forever when they have a country that they rule–for life. He said back in October that he would be the country’s president until at least 2020 if his old bones can take it, says The Guardian:

“Maybe, then, you’ll offer me an elixir of youth and energy – maybe you have such potions in Korea … I’m willing to go on until 2020, just find me an elixir.”

It seems like aging is something the ruler has been worried about for a while. In October of 2009 The Guardian quotes him as saying:

“One important subject is anti-ageing, or the study of prolongation of life,” he told an audience at the Kazakh national university in Almaty. “However difficult such investigations are, these questions must be resolved sooner or later. Why shouldn’t our scientists take on this task? Would it not inspire our Kazakh youth who are now living through the great moments of passion?”

And The Guardian dug up yet another statement from a month earlier:

“Anti-ageing medicine, natural rejuvenation, immortality,” he mused to a government science committee in September last year. “That’s what people are studying these days.” He added: “Those who do are the most successful states in the world – those who don’t will get left on the sidelines.”

In fact, Harvard researchers were recently able to turn back the biological clock on prematurely aged mice. Maybe immortality is just around the corner… but probably not in this leader-for-life’s lifetime.

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Image: Flickr/d. billy

  • Brian Too

    Leaders going back literally thousands of years have been trying to extend their lifetimes. Somehow seems like it’s always the successful despots who go overboard on this effort.

    Everything I’ve ever heard, all such efforts were a wash at best. Many speculate that a lot of the “potions” even shortened their lives. It’s certainly a reasonable speculation; many of these supposed elixirs of life contained known poisons like arsenic and mercury.

  • Kat

    “Kazakhstanian”? Please tell your sub-editors the adjective is “Kazakh”… and it’s capital, not capitol.

  • Georg

    Think of
    the first emperor in China….
    An interesting question might be, whether such
    “mighty” men are more often insane than average men.
    Georg

  • http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/80beats/ Eliza Strickland

    Quite right, Kat — sorry for the mistakes, and thanks for the catch. I think I was too focused on making sure we spelled “Kazakhstan” right each time…

    – Eliza, DISCOVER online news editor

  • Nova Terata

    Kat.. It’s capitol not capital. Capitol is the center of government. Capital is economic resources.

  • Dana

    actually it refers to Kazakh if speaking of title nation/ethnicity which is kazakh, and Kazakhstani if you mean a citizen of Kazakhstan no matter which ethnicity is s/he, or smth belonging to the whole country. So I’m both Kazakh, as my ancestors are native inhabitants of this country and Kazakhstani citizen.

  • macrojd

    awesome. It’s great that a leader finally looks for something more meaningful than the pathetic closed life cycle every society force us to live.

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