Life Extension Strategy [was Re: PBN

Brian Manning Delaney bmdelaney at infinitefaculty.org
Wed Dec 9 02:43:58 EST 1998


Tom Matthews wrote:
> Brian Manning Delaney wrote:

>> On the other hand, in light of cloning
>> breakthroughs, and the recent stem cell findings,
>> maybe that scenario is not nearly optimistic
>> ENOUGH. I'm guessing there are already wealthy
>> people setting up cloning or stem cell labs in
>> Mexico, their basements, etc. All they'd have to
>> do is either get human cloning to work (easy,
>> most likely), not mind abortions[1]; or learn
>> how to direct stem cell growth towards
>> particular tissues, to take the two most obvious
>> approaches.

> Exactly how do you figure this is going to allow
> your "mind" to carry on into the future?

That will be tricky, to be sure. Actually, though, mostly what
I'm thinking is that cell replacement approaches could be used
now (or very soon) mainly for organs other than the brain, which
will keep one from dying from all causes but a few (above all
strokes, but others too, especially after a while). Then, after a
few decades, the biohacks -- by "biohack" I mean here a direct
molecular intervention, be it a "debugging" of the DNA, a
well-targeted removal of pathological crosslinks, or whatever --
will likely be available, which will be able to stop aging in the
brain, and eventually to rejuvenate the brain.

But even assuming we're stuck with the technology/science of the
early aughts (or will we call the next decade the nullities? :),
we can still do a lot to keep the brain in good shape, perhaps
even rejuvenate it. Placing fetal cells in parts of the brain
where wiring doesn't matter much, and having them function well,
should be easy. It's already been done in a limited way. But
elsewhere in the brain, it will be tougher. The question is
whether the new cells can somehow take up, or mirror, the
connections of older, dying cells (or form new connections in a
useful way). There's reason to believe they might be able to do
so, but we don't know yet.

We'll see! (Assuming there's no Dark Age of any kind in the
meantime....)

-Brian.
--
Brian Manning Delaney
email = first initial + hyphen + last name at uchicago.edu
"... Das Geheimniss, um die groesste Fruchtbarkeit
und den groessten Genuss vom Dasein einzuernten,
heisst: gefaehrlich leben!" -Nietzsche.




More information about the Ageing mailing list