Mortal genes

duhh duhh at
Wed Sep 21 02:59:57 EST 1994

     An article posted elsewhere mentioned the immortality gene and I 
thought you might like to know that the work in that regard is further 
along, apparently than one might assume. I was wondering if anyone else 
knew much about this.
     Just over a year ago I ran into a two-hour documentary co-produced 
by theCBC and BBC new services, I believe on Panorama or a similar program. I'm 
sure it can be tracked down and obtained from them.
      The program focued on a privately run research team working on 
turning off and on the immortality gene in Houston Texas. They stated in 
the program that they had sucessfully turned off the gene in rats and in 
effect had produced immortal rats. One effect was that turning off the 
mortality gene turns off the reproductive gene and immortal rats cannot 
reproduce, but they had also suceeded in turning them back on, letting 
the rats breed and then turning them off again. As an aside they compared 
this to turning off the gay gene which similarily turns off creativity 
and higher intelligence.
      The program was built around discussion with the lead researcher 
and the private funder of the research, an old fraile Texas billionaire 
who had no intention of parting with his money. The research funding ran at 
somewhere in the low tens of millions a cheap bet as far as the 
billionaire was concerned.
The researcher predicted that turning off the mortality genes in humans would
mean you would be genetically about 25 permanently with a potential life span
ranging anywhere from 20,000 to 200,000 years saying sumthing will get you
eventually but it wouldnt be old age.
      As far as ramifications were concerned the program interviewed 20
something year olds at a disco who said they didnt want a lot good 
looking old farts around who should be making way for the young and 
should just die. More proof I guess twenty year olds think they're immortal.
      Other than this program I have not seen anything else about this in the
media, surprising if this gen(e)i is out of the bottle. 
as always
'dances forever'
Dar Westlake
infantus horriblis
duhh at
Vancouver BC Canada
  * eventually the improbable becomes unavoidable *

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