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Scientists Find Genes for Extremely Long Life

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posted on Jul, 5 2010 @ 02:46 AM
reply to post by IgnoranceIsntBlisss

All that cash and credit has to go for something and living for long periods of time is most likely a definite goal of any group with obscene amounts of money ie the ruling elite. It would be there goal, if it could be done, if it does happen then the populace can look forward to not only an aristocracy that doesn't care one way or another about the working class but a very long lived aristocracy. Truly a different breed of human.
I even read some were that Brittany Spears wants to be frozen so she can bring her light and talents to the future if possible she invested some of her moneys on the tech.
Think about that Brittany spears revived in the year 4000 to live on, or if that does not work there is always the head in a jar like in futurama.

posted on Jul, 7 2010 @ 02:17 PM

Originally posted by DizzyDayDream

Firstly, is it morally okay to even consider unnaturally evolving our species so that we live longer? I mean think about it, our bodies live to the age they live to for a reason.

The "reason" is that we reproduce young. Because we reproduce before many of the age related ailments, nature isnt selecting against those conditions. It cant, Those genes are already in the gene pool long (via the carrier having reproduced) long before the ailment itself takes its toll. Because of our compassionate caring for and nurturing to adulthood seriously ill people, we may in the long run see more ailments creep into the gene pool, as we are preventing nature from selecting against those things by helping to ensure those individuals live to reproduce. I am not saying we shouldnt, but only that the "reason" is a mechanical one. This could be adjusted by slowly raising the age at which humans had babies, and not artificially helping those who were not capable of doing so, but that might have other consequences we would have to consider as well.

Originally posted by DizzyDayDream
And even by reading through the posts in this thread, we can clearly see that some individuals have a negative life perspective and the idea of living beyond our natural limitations doesn't appeal to them.

We have people currently who feel that living to 70-ish is too long, and they decline by taking their own lives. My brother did, at 20.

Originally posted by DizzyDayDream
So in my opinion i think it is morally wrong for such a person to be born with an artificially modified genetic code. Because if lets say that person suffers a great deal of traumatic stress during their teens and early childhood, knows very little of compassion, and suffers almost constantly from unbearable anxiety throughout their life, it would only serve the purpose of extending their unpleasant existence if their genes had been altered so they live to say 200.

There is a small problem with the logic here. One, it assumes that because a small percentage might feel this way, everyone should not live longer if they could. Secondly, it assumes that your current state of mind at a given age, will of necessity be the state of mind you have for the entirety of your existence.

With my brother as an example, he killed himself at 20, over something that many people his age do kill themselves over, a failed romance on top of a string of really unfair employment situations. (He was being discriminated against because of his race) At 20, you generally dont have the perspective/experience to realize that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and if not, you can choose another tunnel. There would have been another girl. And, although he might never have been able to break past the discrimination, he could have shifted his love of cooking from Teppanyaki to other forms of cooking. (He actually did like other styles, but he was very good at all the flipping and slicing, etc, and like the showmanship of Teppanyaki. ) Time, and experience, had he had better coping mechanisms for dealing with disappointment, would have eased his pain. And, the longer you live, the greater the potential that you WILL acquire coping mechanisms. Studies indicate that people DO get happier as they get older,

The increase in happiness with age is consistent with the "age as maturity hypothesis," Yang said. With age comes positive psychosocial traits, such as self-integration and self-esteem; these signs of maturity could contribute to a better sense of overall well-being.

One of the sad things about young people who kill themselves, or do things to their bodies that shorten their life spans in the long run is that the rational part of your mind only really comes "online" in full force around the age of 25.

Based on neuroimaging evidence that the development and maturation of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) continues beyond adolescence, and is completed only in early adulthood, this study was undertaken to determine if these functional differences in the human brain are evident in commonly used behavioral measures of PFC functioning. To this end, two age groups were tested. The 18-year-old participants represented the continuation of brain development, and the 22-25-year-old participants represented the completion, or near completion, of brain development.

One researcher compares an adolescent brain as being a "high powered sports car with very bad brakes." Even after the brain has physically matured, there is a learning curve, as you learn to really use your reasoning centers, (or not, as the case may be) as just having it doesnt mean you will choose to use it effectively.

In short, people like my brother cheat themselves out of the chance of having happiness by assuming that what is now, is what will always be. When the evidence simply doesnt bear that out.

Originally posted by DizzyDayDream
And lastly, perhaps when we can truly say yes, this global human community is compassionate and happy, we may even realise how obsolete such genetic modifications are as the experience of a 70 year existence becomes far more fulfilling than a 200 year non-compassionate and fulfilling life.

any thoughts?

Have you ever heard the saying "youth is wasted on the young?" Its a reference to what I am speaking of above. It is something many have noted long before neuro-imaging, that the brains and the attitudes of older people (though not universally) tend to be better at being happy, but unfortunately the body wears out just as you really learn to enjoy life fully. I know an 84 year old woman who skis several times a winter, is sharp politically, and gardens, and wishes she could do more. She isnt longing for death. She enjoys her life, and learns, and does what her body will allow, and wishes she had more physical energy to do more.

While you are thinking of people trapped for hundreds of years in bodies and suffering endlessly from emotional anguish, I am thinking of all the people who spend the first 30-40 years of their lives in emotional anguish getting to have a chance to enjoy a good long period of emotional contentment, and the happiness that often, (though not always) comes with age.

The emotional abuse you suffer(ed) is not your destiny. Yes, there is evidence that early abuse can alter the way your brain processes emotions, (fear, etc.) and yes, that can make it harder and perhaps longer to heal, but it doesnt mean that you cannot do it. (With help, with learned techniques, I am not saying, "just get over it.") In a recent, (I forget which but around a month or two ago) issue of "Science" they had an article about how meditation alters the brain, specifically in its perception of pain, emotional and physical. The brain is not fixed in stone. It can be altered by "exercising" it, for good or ill.

Dont be so quick to predict your own, or anyone elses future. People would still have the same option available to the miserable now, suicide, if they really did not feel they could go on. But they might also have the opportunity for some quality time to make up for their difficult beginnings.

Personally, I am much happier/more at peace now than I was in my childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood. Because I have always enjoyed the company of my elders, and have spent much time talking to them, I anticipate that I will become even more at peace with myself, and more in tune with life, and more accepting of things as I continue to age, as that is what most of them report. Not to mention more years means more junk I can pack into my brain, and learning is fun, and even more fun the more you know as you can begin making connections that you really cant when focused too narrowly on one discipline.

posted on Jul, 7 2010 @ 02:25 PM
Robert Heinlein got it right seventy years ago. In Methuselah's Children he wrote about a selective breeding program aimed at increasing the human lifespan (the Howard Families). Lazarus Long, the "senior" lived for over 2,500 years. Of course, by that time technology came into play making long lives available to everyone.

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