Genetic Research stops aging...

Human noone at
Sat Oct 19 20:27:12 EST 1996

Russell a. DeMeyere wrote:
> The key here is to understand the link between life extension and
> youth extension (the vitality and health of 20-30 year olds).
> The first is unappealing without the other.  Who would want to
> spend 60+ years enfeebled?  I have done some musing on this
> topic.
> Consider:
>         - Do you really want to be married to the same man/woman
> for a century or more?
>         - Just how long will you wait for your next promotion?
>         - How much burden on the Earth's carrying capacity will
> be created when it's not 3 1/2 generations alive at once but 6 to
> 8 generations?
>         - When would the education process for youth end?
>         - When would one be considered an adult?
>         - What happens if this technology is available to the
> countries with stable populations but denied to countries
> where the population is still increasing?  How about
> differentiated availability between the rich and poor within a
> single country?
> We won't get this genie back into the bottle once he's out, so we
> had better think it through while we can...
There are several theories that exist now with respect to theoretical
methods by which the aging process occurs.  Some of these theories have
to do with what is known as free radical crosslinking.  This would occur
due to crosslinking of chains of protiens or DNA within cells due to
oxidation products.  Other theories deal with possible corruption of DNA
chains throughout time.  Other theories deal with gradual decline in
growth factors such as Human Growth hormone when we age.  A current
theory deals with 'telomerase' which might have to do with the
shortening by one of Human DNA by a set number of codons with each
replication.  Another theory has to deal with methylation and different
types of chromatin.  It might be possible that in the near to moderate
future we would either know how to extend the human lifespan far beyond
its normal seventy, know how to genetically reengineer humans so that
the engineered humans would not biologically age, or at least know
precicely on the biological level ageing is done.  Your statements about
human population are viable, however, the increase in population is a
problem now even without an extremely extended lifespan.  When you talk
about 'putting the genie back in the bottle', however, you are talking
about the possible denial of a procedure, if it would exist, that would
enable humans to live far longer than they do now, barring disease or
accident.  In many ways, do not diabetics and many other persons live in
conditions like that already.  This treatment does not exist now, but if
it did exist, how would such a denial be distinguished from murder?  I
should remind you that you undergo such procedures as vaccinations and
various other medical treatments in order to extend your life now. 
There can be said to be some defects in mankind when it comes to the
intergenerationality of the species.  Would people be so lax with
respect to the environment or so quickly 'destroy the economy of future
generations' when they found they had to live in those futures they were
making?  Those are some ideas for contemplation...

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