Vitality Retained W/ 'Immortality'

Patrick O'Neil patrick at corona
Sat Mar 11 14:18:52 EST 1995

On 10 Mar 1995, JohnMuraro wrote:
> Or we might induce systemic unchecked cell division; a. "whole body"
> cancer.  I think we tend to talk about the elegant, delicate chemical
> balance within cells somewhat cavalierly in this group.  It's not exactly
> like adding a quart of antifreeze to the car.

My thoughts exactly.  It would not be enough to simpy turn on the gene 
for telomerase within somatic cells and that's it.  There are a complex 
host of signals that go into cell division and control.  Besides allowing 
further cell division, you would also have to balance apoptosis or you 
would keep gaining mass and, essentially, have full body cancer.  You 
want a steady state of cell division and cell death or you're in 
trouble.  A passenger that then follows with cell division is mutation.  
Dividing cells will experience higher mutation rates than non-dividing 
cells so you would also need to take that into account - they wouldn't be 
larger rates than basal, roughly 10^-10 per nucleotide per replication, 
but if the process in continually one of division and death, then you 
need to watch for it because it will add up.


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