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Immortality: The Possible Science with Impossible Moral Implications (Part 1/2)

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posted on Dec, 5 2015 @ 10:57 PM
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a reply to: marg6043

While I believe in an immortal soul, I am referring to biological immortality in this thread. Souls are a completely different topic worth an entirely different thread.




posted on Dec, 6 2015 @ 12:19 AM
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a reply to: Passerby1996

Very interesting thread.

I have read somewhere, but don't remember exact source that even if human could achieve biological immortality, the median lifetime were still limited to 200 or 300 years due to occurence of disease and accident.

Again, read somewhere, but cannot cite source that telomerase has been tried and it did not gave the expected result. In fact my personal research in the field of cellular senescence indicate that everything that has been tried never gave any significative result. My constatation on this is twofold:

1- Human life expectancy is already at the maximum.

2- Of the many existing theories on human cells senescence, no single one seem the good one simply because they are all parts of the problem, i.e. there is a multitudes of discovered and undiscovered mechanism leading to cellular aging, and some are at the organism level.

My take on this is simply that the human body have never been "designed" by natural evolution to live much longer than the time required to give birth and raise the child(s). So the very complex cellular machinery simply break down past a specific time. To achieve cellular immortality would require reengineering from the start the human cellular process.

Just consider the astrocytic hypothesis: Differentiation of radial glia cells into astrocytes is a possible ageing mechanism in mammals. It is like everything in us is "designed" not to work past the "warranty" period.

An interesting paper on the subject is: HARMAN, D. Aging: Overview



posted on Dec, 6 2015 @ 08:37 AM
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a reply to: Passerby1996

I'm pretty sure they will crack the ageing problem of the human body, the Telomerase issue is the key there. Then you need to replace damaged tissue and organs, this is where the stem cells come into play. But huge loud but the brain is the problem. We might end up with perfect immortal bodies but our brains have turned to mush.

The best so far on the brain problem is the slowing down of degredation through diet, excercise and mental tasks but it still degrades.

The problem that will need resolving is how do we handle an ever increasing number of perfectly healthy humans who need 24hr care because their brains are not working properly? A euthanasia nightmare scenario.



posted on Dec, 6 2015 @ 08:39 AM
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a reply to: yorkshirelad

I personally think Euthanasia should be legal. I'd gladly partake of it myself once I was in my forties or so.



posted on Dec, 6 2015 @ 10:21 AM
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a reply to: Eilasvaleleyn

That's very noble of you. Sadly, the vast majority of the rest of humanity wishes to live their lives to the fullest. It's completely understandable. They want to stay with their loved ones, or they're afraid of death.

Humans, while sociable, are also inherently selfish beings. They would rather stay due to their fears of separation and death than sacrifice themselves for the good of all humanity.



posted on Dec, 6 2015 @ 10:35 AM
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a reply to: Passerby1996

Hmm, not noble. My reasons are entirely selfish. Death is a lot more interesting than life, from my perspective. It's like the difference between a book you've read a hundred times and a book you've never even heard of.

It's also worth noting that my world-view is somewhat 'messed up.' I view life as an obligation I have to fulfill, rather than something I am lucky to be gifted with. While I do not hate it... As I said. Death is far more interesting and attractive, viewed through my eyes. I'd have no qualms with dropping dead, instantly, right now, if it weren't for the people whom would be saddened by my passing. It is for their sake that I cling to life, not my own.
edit on 6/12/2015 by Eilasvaleleyn because: Reasons



posted on Dec, 6 2015 @ 06:37 PM
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a reply to: Passerby1996


Telomerase gene therapy in adult and old mice delays aging and increases longevity without increasing cancer

The paper explained

PROBLEM:
A major goal in aging research is to increase the so-called ‘health span’ or the time of life free of disease. Telomeres have been linked with aging and disease and, in the case of mice, genetic manipulations that shorten or lengthen telomeres result, respectively, in decreased or increased longevity. Therapies that impact on telomere length are therefore expected to have an impact on health span.

RESULTS:
Based on this notion, we tested the effects of a telomerase gene therapy in adult (1 year of age) and old (2 years of age) mice. Treatment of both groups of mice with an AAV of wide tropism expressing mouse telomerase (mTERT) demonstrated remarkable beneficial effects on health and fitness, improving several molecular biomarkers of aging. Moreover, telomerase-treated mice did not develop more neoplasias comparing to their control littermates, suggesting that the known tumorigenic activity of telomerase is severely decreased when expressed in adult or old organisms. Finally, re-introduction of mTERT in both 1- and 2-year old mice increased significantly its median lifespan (24 and 13%, respectively). These beneficial effects were not observed with a reporter virus (eGFP) or a catalytically inactive TERT (TERT-DN) demonstrating the strict dependency of an active telomerase complex.

IMPACT:
Together, our results constitute a proof-of-principle of a role of mTERT in delaying physiological aging, improvement of health span, and extension of longevity in normal (wild type) mice. The gene therapy described here represents a novel type of therapeutic intervention against various age-related diseases.


Source

This is a pretty good article on the topic and worth the read. Its from 2012 so its pretty up to date with current work.

There are problems with this because a lack of telomerase activity can suppress tumors.

In my limited understanding of this this type of therapy could lower an organisms threshold to radiation exposure.

Although that we are working with mice at this point it appears very promising. With potential breakthroughs in about 50 years.

Excellent Op

edit on 6-12-2015 by Kashai because: Content edit



posted on Dec, 7 2015 @ 07:04 AM
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originally posted by: Eilasvaleleyn
a reply to: yorkshirelad

I personally think Euthanasia should be legal. I'd gladly partake of it myself once I was in my forties or so.


I am in my forties and still quite functioning, but if you are so eager why wait until then?



posted on Dec, 7 2015 @ 07:11 AM
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a reply to: VekTorVik

Because I promised someone very important to me that I would. Ideally, I'd die at the age of forty four, though that's because of my quirky sense of humor rather than anything else.
edit on 7/12/2015 by Eilasvaleleyn because: Reasons



posted on Dec, 7 2015 @ 07:42 AM
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originally posted by: Eilasvaleleyn
a reply to: Passerby1996

Hmm, not noble. My reasons are entirely selfish. Death is a lot more interesting than life, from my perspective. It's like the difference between a book you've read a hundred times and a book you've never even heard of.

It's also worth noting that my world-view is somewhat 'messed up.' I view life as an obligation I have to fulfill, rather than something I am lucky to be gifted with. While I do not hate it... As I said. Death is far more interesting and attractive, viewed through my eyes. I'd have no qualms with dropping dead, instantly, right now, if it weren't for the people whom would be saddened by my passing. It is for their sake that I cling to life, not my own.



that is seriously f***** up. Living because people would be sad if you didn't.

Death will come for us all...so eventually...you're getting there. Why not use your short time on this plane of existence to enjoy it ?

Care to explain how you see death as more interesting then life...since nobody knows what exactly happens when you die...if anything. I'm guessing you think there must an afterlife, right ? what if there isn't one ? what if it's truly the END ? Wouldn't it then make sense in retrospect, to live your life while you have it ?



posted on Dec, 7 2015 @ 07:48 AM
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a reply to: MarioOnTheFly

It's not like I take no enjoyment at all from it. As I said, it is the difference between a book you have read a hundred times, and a book you have never heard of. You may still enjoy reading the former... But isn't the latter oh so much more intriguing?

I'm not avoiding that.

I suspect that there something, though that is ultimately tangential.
If it is truly the "end" then indeed, nothing matters at all. I'd probably be happier if it was utter oblivion. Then again, I wouldn't be capable of happiness. I wouldn't be capable of anything. I wouldn't even be aware.
edit on 7/12/2015 by Eilasvaleleyn because: Reasons



posted on Dec, 7 2015 @ 09:58 AM
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a reply to: Eilasvaleleyn
Please don't take my response as though I think it would be a good idea to check out early, it just makes me disappointed that you don't feel you have any more to offer.

I don't know your age, but when I was in my late teens I swore I would end it if I wasn't famous or successful by thirty. How stupid of me.

I would love to live forever just to learn everything...about everything. I can see the same thing every day, but as my understanding changes so does my view of the world around me.



posted on Dec, 7 2015 @ 10:15 AM
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a reply to: VekTorVik

Actually, I think I have a reasonable degree to offer. While I often suffer from severe apathy, when I properly apply myself I can do some interesting things. As I mentioned, my desire to die is entirely selfish.

I may think that way when I have aged, but I doubt it. The way I think of things, it's not that I hate living, it's that I'm far more interested in death.

That's an idyllic scenario. While living forever learning everything is a goal I'd happily pursue, neither of these things are really likely and/or possible.
I've maintained my current view - with a few tweaks - since I was in primary school. It is unlikely to change. My happiness or viewpoint in life does not preclude my desire to die. They are two separate things, from my perspective.



posted on Dec, 7 2015 @ 11:01 AM
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a reply to: infolurker

Not true. I was legally blind in August, and now have nearly normal vision after stem-cell treatment to my retinas. There are physician groups emerging all over the country now who are offering stem cell treatment for a number of conditions, injuries and diseases.



posted on Dec, 7 2015 @ 06:20 PM
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Not so long ago people fantasized about finding the “Fountain of Youth”. Books were written about it, movies were made about it, etc. Just think what it would be like to stay young, strong and in your prime virtually indefinately. All the things you could experience and accomplish, if only you had the time. But, it was only a dream; a safe one and fun to think about, but not one that anyone took seriously.

Well, here it is 2015, and guess what? We now take it seriously. This is old news to many folks here, but for others maybe not. In any case, we are now definitely knocking on the door, and extended longevity (1,000+ years for the “Chosen Ones”) has become quite probable. And when the big announcement finally comes, I have a feeling it will be a reality altering, game-changing event. Humanity will never again be the same; our evolution will then be in our own hands. Everything we’ve come to know socially, politically, philosophically, religiously, scientifically, etc. will come into question. We’ll be forced to reassess our whole belief system and notions about what it is to be Human. I can imagine the governments of the world may even try to suppress public awareness of the breakthrough for a time in order to avoid discord among the masses.

Aubrey de Grey, the Chief Science Officer of the SENS Research Foundation and renowned authority on the ageing process, has been out front in the scientific endeavour to achieve human longevity for quite some time now. Something he said years ago has always stuck with me. He said that, “the first human beings who will live to 1,000 years old have already been born.”. It seemed to bring things into perspective for me. You can read the Wiki about him at Aubrey de Grey, or just Bing/Google him.

I’m not sure I want to live “forever”, but a couple thousand years might not be bad
Especially if I could retain my youth (physically and mentally) the entire time. I’d kinda like to see how the Human drama plays out. Maybe visit Mars. Then again, it may be a nightmare. IDK. Hmmm...

In any case, I’m sure I’ll never get a shot at it. But someone will. Someone who’s alive today. Hmmm... Who’d a thunk it?

edit on 12/7/2015 by netbound because: (no reason given)

edit on 12/7/2015 by netbound because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 7 2015 @ 08:12 PM
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a reply to: Passerby1996

Immortality? *drool*

In a few words, the scientific view of immortality is extremely limited. Fortunaly it was studied in various countries way beyond the scientism cult appeared, in a time where spirituality was the norm. And the legacy which can still be found where it is supposed to be, is through various practices and ways of life. But nothing is easy and merely scratching is a vain effort.



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