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Ageing, Genetics and Population

Allen Smith allens at yang.earlham.edu
Sun May 31 10:44:37 EST 1992

In article <36147 at darkstar.ucsc.edu>, stephen at orchid.UCSC.EDU writes:
> I find it odd that we strive so hard to see if we can
> continue life indefinitely ( or at least a lot longer
> than 100 years ).
> How do we handle population problems ( like the one we
> will confront) when the birth rate is high and death
> rate is low?

        Given that such medical technology is mainly available in
developed countries, it's probable that these will not result in
overpopulation. If they're exported through government "charity" to
underdeveloped nations without adequate birth control, then there will
certainly be problems.
> What if birth rate drops or goes negative and the death
> rate drops towards zero? What about the gene pool and
> the reduction of mixing?

        As far as I can tell, the most probable means of significant
life-extension will involve applied molecular genetics. Given that, the gene
pool isn't as much of a concern, especially if germ line gene therapy is
allowed (as it should be).

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