“Immortality gene” discovered in remote African tribe

Elderly, but youthful, the Enyan tribesmen fish at Wagenia Falls.

Elderly, but youthful, the Enyan tribesmen fish at Wagenia Falls.

Kisangani, DRC–Ethnologists working with newly-rediscovered tribes of Enya, located near Kisangani in the Democratic Republic of Congo, announced evidence supporting the existence of an “immortality gene.” Expedition leader and genetic anthropologist, Dr. Angstrom H. Troubadour, said, “At first we did not believe the shaman who told us the ages of many members of the tribe. They appeared to be in their mid-twenties, but here was a spry middle-aged man claiming they were fifty or sixty years old and that he was well over a hundred.”

To Dr. Troubador’s surprise, preliminary field testing showed that these claims might not just be a product of an idiosyncratic calendar. “You can imagine my disbelief, when these tests came back. We had to make sure of what we were seeing,” he said. The scientists gathered more samples, sending them out to independent labs without mentioning the bizarre tales spun by the local shaman. All the results confirmed that these youthful-looking indigenous Africans were indeed much older than they appeared. It seemed the scientists had discovered the fountain of youth.

“There’s something magical about the village, something quite ineffable. It’s a place you don’t want to leave,” mused Dr. Troubador. The researcher took great care in announcing his findings to a justifiably skeptical world. “I want to make sure I’m drawing the correct conclusions and that the evidence is sound. I am, for the first time, confident enough to publish this discovery.”

Although this incredible discovery is yet to be confirmed by peer review, already the medical community is wondering: What could this mean for the future of medicine? The gene, identified by Dr. Troubador’s team, could potentially be isolated and introduced to the population with the use of a carefully genetically modified virus. This plan, if implemented correctly, would instantly double or triple life expectancy of all humans on earth. According to some analysts, this kind of change could upset the fragile ecological balance of a planet which is already under pressure by the threat of overpopulation. However, the technology to implement this plan is still in the preliminary stages, and the virus could take up to five years to complete. With existing technology, this gene can already be implanted into embryonic tissue, resulting in “immortal” designer babies who age at half the normal rate. This procedure, which has already been performed in secret on an undisclosed number of babies, is said to cost nearly a billion dollars per baby.

While most members of the expedition returned with Dr. Troubador, one remained behind and married into the tribe, hoping, according to some, to ensure the longevity of her offspring. People in the area have long considered tales of the immortal lost tribe as nothing more than a bit of legend, but now a mania seems to have gripped women in the area. Searching high and low for the lost tribe, women have reportedly thrown themselves upon any and all indigenous men they come across, on the hopes that their children will carry the magic of the “immortal” Enyan tribe.

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