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Why Death May No Longer Be A Fact Of Life

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posted on Dec, 24 2006 @ 06:51 PM
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The accumulation of genetic damage in our cells is a major contributor to how we age. A study has found that mice completely lacking a critical gene for repairing damaged DNA grow old rapidly and have physical, genetic and hormonal profiles very similar to mice that grow old naturally.
 



news.scotsman.com
And while Methuselah's 969 years and an elixir of eternal life are still in the realms of religious belief and science fiction, researchers believe it is now theoretically possible at least to extend lifespan "significantly".

It was once thought the ageing process was pre-programmed, hardwired into the human condition, and that death was simply a fact of life. But life expectancies in developed countries have stubbornly continued their upwards rise, by about two years every decade or about five hours a day.

A paper made public yesterday by the journal Nature detailed a study of mice which grew old and died within three weeks because they lacked genes involved in repairing damage to DNA, and also the discovery of a new disease which results in premature ageing. Professor Laura Niedernhofer, of Pittsburgh University, said their findings showed that DNA damage and the ability to repair it were crucial in determining lifespan.


Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


The age old question 'why do we grow old and die' may be finally getting closer to being answered. This is something that I know I've always wondered about and probably you too. The concept of having our life extended to 145 years or more is truly appealing.

Or would it?

Even if we could eliminate death completely there would still be one ever-present reality that would still befall us all... "Taxes"...!

Related News Links:
www.sciencedaily.com

[edit on 24/12/2006 by Mirthful Me]




posted on Dec, 25 2006 @ 04:49 AM
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Not to mention the ever-present thrill of having both sets of our natural teeth fall out by the time we reach the ripe old age of 50. We lose the first good set by the time we're about 11, which is just rediculous I think. Why waste a perfectly good set of teeth?

TheBorg



posted on Dec, 25 2006 @ 07:08 AM
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From what I understand, our bodies are in a constant battle trying to create homiostasis. The theory is that if the body can make cells that don't die you would stop aging. The problem is that no cell has yet to be created that does not eventualy wear out and die.

I think that science may be looking at the problem in the wrong area. Perhaps they need not be looking at ways to keep cells allive but ways to keep cells regenerating faster. The genes that try and create homiostasis in your body cannot keep up with the workload. Older cells die off faster thain new cells can be created.

Perhaps what we need is an infusion of something that would suplement our bodies natural ability to replace worn out cells. Something that would put the ratio up to 1 to 1 instead of where it is today. (that number isnt known to me as I am not a doctor or a biologist)

Perhaps a infusion of something a genetic machine or some sort of nanotechology that would be faster at replacing dead cells with new fresh live cells would substancialy retard the aging process and if efficent enough would stop the process altogether.

Then if this happens the question would be... Would you want to live forever? I know I wouldent. Shesh could you imagine the overcrowding on the Earth if everyone could live for however long they wished?



posted on Dec, 25 2006 @ 08:37 PM
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Overcrowding would only be temporary because humans adapt. Simple as that. Those with access to this technology will likely opt for a life off-planet if things become overcrowded. One of the primary obstacles for interstellar travel is our extremely short lifespan(and the speed of light). Someone who can hypothetically live up to 300+ years wouldn't balk nearly as much at a 10+ year travel time to the nearest star then someone who has a regular lifespan and this isn't even taking Time Dilation into consideration either. Remember Earth is but a subatomic particle in the Cosmos when put in perspective.

[edit on 25-12-2006 by sardion2000]



posted on Dec, 25 2006 @ 08:55 PM
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This is totally cool. Living forever, I could deal with that. Be able to speak every language, play every musical instrument, learn so much knowledge, travel everywhere, have so much fun. I'm sure there are going to be some negative stuff to this, like seeing most of your family die, but you will always see their children grow up and start the process over. The pros outweight the cons for me, so where do I sign up!!!



posted on Dec, 25 2006 @ 10:19 PM
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This is totally cool. Living forever, I could deal with that. Be able to speak every language, play every musical instrument, learn so much knowledge, travel everywhere, have so much fun. I'm sure there are going to be some negative stuff to this


Take all that stuff and live with it for a few thousand years. You'll be trying to kill yourself. Knowing everything would leave you with a very mundane existence, dragging on and on and on..........

Just think of your current life. If you had to live it the way it is forever. Adding knowledge and experience could just make it worse over a millenia.



posted on Dec, 25 2006 @ 11:03 PM
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Originally posted by whatukno
I think that science may be looking at the problem in the wrong area. Perhaps they need not be looking at ways to keep cells allive but ways to keep cells regenerating faster. The genes that try and create homiostasis in your body cannot keep up with the workload. Older cells die off faster thain new cells can be created.


Well, just a thought, but it IS true that Cancer cells are virtually indestructable. I found that quite interesting when I read it in a medical journal about 4 years ago. They were researching a new drug treatment for Leukemia, and found out that the Cancer cells couldn't seem to be killed. That got me thinking immediately about how we could be utilizing them to actually make us live LONGER, rather than die sooner.

TheBorg



posted on Dec, 26 2006 @ 12:02 AM
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Actually cancer cells are rather easier to kill nowadays if we manage to get the chemo where it's supposed to go. My aunt is currently undergoing "experimental" chemo treatment and the results are fantastic! The reason I put experimental in quotes is due to the fact that it has already achieved massive successes. I can't remember the name of the drug for the life of me, but I'll defiantly make it a point to ask next time I see her. The side effects of this drug are very minor as well. No hair loss or loss of appetite is apparent.

Cancer is actually one of the big stumbling blocks yet to be completely resolved. You see, some modifications we can do to ourselves that WILL make us live longer on average will also cause cancer. The reason being is rather hazy to me atm, but I gather that it has to do with something called telomeres. Telomeres are caps on the ends of some(or all? IANAG = I am not a Geneticist) chromosomes and their length regulates two things. 1. It regulates the amount of times a cell can replicate because after each replication it gets shorter and shorter and 2. Each generation is born with shorter and shorter telomeres.


Take all that stuff and live with it for a few thousand years. You'll be trying to kill yourself. Knowing everything would leave you with a very mundane existence, dragging on and on and on..........


Well if all you plan on doing is the same thing you continuously do on a day to day basis this very second then yeah, I'd prolly kill myself after a few hundred years of that, but WHY WOULD I DO THE SAME THING DAY IN AND DAY OUT?!? If I could live thousands of years I'd do all sorts of things. I'd probably take a hundred years to master painting and then another hundred years to master sculpting. After that, maybe some Inter-Stellar exploration for a thousand years or more. Lots to see in the Galaxy what with the 400 billion stars with countless other oddities, mysteries and lifeforms(hopefully intelligent ones).

[edit on 26-12-2006 by sardion2000]

[edit on 26-12-2006 by sardion2000]



posted on Dec, 26 2006 @ 02:59 PM
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You hit the nail on the head. I would keep learning everything possible. My current life is great and I would love to keep it going. I can also have so many more girls it would be crazy!!! The possibilities are endless.

Thank you for the cancer info as well, some of my friends may want to know what that medicine is.



posted on Dec, 26 2006 @ 03:06 PM
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Really? Okay I'll phone her up and ask then. I believe it's in Stage 3 trials in Canada at the moment so it might already be approved for American use(our system is more stringent, melatonin and ventalin are prescription only, while just south of the border they are both OTC)



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