Vitality Retained W/ 'Immortality'

John de Rivaz John at
Tue Mar 14 08:07:04 EST 1995

In article: <Pine.3.89.9503031857.A24907-0100000 at>  
dashley at TENET.EDU (Don Ashley) writes:
> The concept is that, with perpetuation of cell division, aging stops.  In 
> other words, we get old because the cells gradually stop reproducing.  
> This is thought to be a congenital condition programmed by DNA.  
> With breakthrough in genetic research, the program can be changed so that 
> the cells can reproduce indefinitely like cancer cells do.  Cancer cells 
> have the telomerase enzyme that allows perpetuation.  If telomerase can 
> be manipulated into healthy  cells, we might get a few hundred extra 

This would be great if it works, but personally I have worries that the cell 
death phenomena is necessary for the prevention of cancer. Hopefully 
researchers will try this with short lived animals and we will see by 
experiment whether it does work. There may be a side effect of increased 
incidence of cancer that can be corrected by other means, and we gradually 
can evolve an animal that is immortal (except for accidents). Once we have 
done this we can extrapolate it to other animals and eventually humans.

I do think, though, that to get longer life we will have to modify much 
morew than just one system. And we may never be able to stop eventual old 
age unless we re-engineer ourselves into different sorts of bodies, even if 
they look and feel the same as we have now.

Sincerely,     ****************************************       
               * Publisher of        Longevity Report *
John de Rivaz  *                     Fractal Report   *
               *          details on request          *
**** What is the point of life if it ends in death? ****

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