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Immortality Within Science's Grasp

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posted on Nov, 16 2005 @ 04:46 PM
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Is immortality within reach?

What effects could this have on Faith, Spirituality, and Theology?

Here are some links for your consumption:

Sources:

www.asent.org...

www.benbest.com...

elegans.uky.edu...

en.wikipedia.org...

Quote from 1st link:


Mutations in this gene cause worms to live 50% longer than usual. A few months later, two more clock genes were discovered, and worms with combinations of mutations on these genes had a much more dramatic increase in longevity. Some of these combined mutations caused worms to live four times longer than normal. When daf-2 mutations were associated with the clock mutations, worms lived up to seven times longer than normals.
"Pharmaceutical interventions that slow aging might delay the onset of neurodegenerative diseases."
How do clock genes work? Probably by influencing metabolic rates. Long-living worms with mutated clock genes have a lower rate of metabolism than their normal counterparts. How could metabolic rates affect aging? The link is probably free radicals. High metabolic rates cause more free radicals to be formed. These results suggest the tantalizing possibility of increasing life-span either by slowing the production of free radicals, or by increasing free radical scavenging.
Yet another gene points towards oxidative damage as a primary cause of aging. This time the gene was discovered in fruit flies and was named methuselah, in honor of the Biblical Methuselah who reportedly lived to be 969 years old. Fruit flies with a mutated methuselah gene live 100 days, instead of the usual 60 to 80 days. How does the mutant methuselah gene work? Like the long-lived worms, the long-lived flies were able to better resist a number of stresses. They survived 50% longer than their wild-type counterparts when deprived of food. They tolerated heat much better. They were more resistant to paraquat, a herbicide that resembles MPTP, and kills cells by generating free radicals. Recently, increased resistance to stress has also been shown to lengthen life in yeast.



With the human population growing as fast as it is, will we make the choice to utilize this technology to turn off the aging genes within human developing fetuses?

I watched a program on the Science Channel last night that conducted an interview with one female scientist who was involved in the isolation of the aging genes, and showed how they had de-activated the aging gene in a species of worm with results that caused the worms to live 7 times as long. Incidently the worms share 1/3 the same DNA as humans.

If this technology exists now, how soon before it is adapted to work on humanity?

Will we (HHHMMM, (clue)), or have we already attempted this on human embryo?

What will we do with this knowledge? Will we choose to make our unborn children capable of living upwards of 700+ years? And what will be the name of this race, if not humans?

I thought this would be worth some ponderance.

Keep in mind, we have done this. The results were conclusive and measurable.

Also keep in mind we were walking on the moon only 60 some years after the mass production of automobiles began.

I shutter slightly at the prospect of either our generation or the next two generations being the ones who perfect the medical/biological process that leads to mortals creating ones who are leaps and bounds moving towards immortality.

Overpopulation could result. Perhaps we could look to China for advice?

Another major point to make is the fact we can only make developing fetuses bodies retard/slow the aging effect, not those already grown. What will/could result?




posted on Nov, 16 2005 @ 11:34 PM
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Interesting that you bring this up. I have been advising my nieces and nephews to get involved in this field, because if they succeed, they will make Bill Gates look like a pauper.

There will never be overpopulation for more than brief periods, so we need not worry about that - although the self correcting mechanisms might not be all that fun. Even if we stop aging, if populations rise to unsustainable levels, we will kill ourselves back to sustainable levels.

If you could stop aging in your early twenties, there would be little reason to have children. Most people forsee their mortality and start wanting to leave a legacy. But if you are your own legacy, why bother? Sure, some people will still have kids, but most won't. Accidents, murder/war, and suicide will likely keep up with that.

Most likely if population started to rise too much, states would adopt rules that force you to choose between sterilization or nonaging therapy.

As far as how this would affect spirituality, I suspect it would decrease it, but not elliminate it, since it would reduce one of the big factors - the fear of death.

I don't know what your talking about regarding having already made people stop aging. Are you talking about Biblical characters before the flood? That's not very compelling if so.



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