Can a cell grow new mitochondria after they have been damaged by free radicals?

Tom Matthews tmatth at
Sat Aug 8 01:17:04 EST 1998

Steven B. Harris wrote:
> In <35CB4E8A.19D8 at> Tom Matthews <tmatth at> writes:
> >No. Every different organism is truely unique from every other because
> >of development from a DNA "recipe" (not a blueprint which specifies
> the
> >exact location of every molecule - as Steve Harris has pointed out).
> >However, it is only for organisms with "significant" mental abilities
> >that we normally make a distinction between organisms with the same
> >or even of the same subspecies.
>    Well, we make a distinction between two cloned rats as being
> different organisms. 

That's why I used the undefined word "signficant" in my definition. I
would certainly consider the mental abilities of all mammals to be
signficant. But I left it open on purpose because what is "significant"
will likely be different for each of us. After all, people can have
"pet" life-forms of almost any kind and each of these will be considered
precious and different in identity from any other of its species.

> Some humans go further and count as
> >unique, and individually precious, every living organism. Some go the
> >other way, quite ignoring the value of individual humans in favor of
> >species, self, or "germline" survival. To a certain extent, those
> >against the extension of maximum human lifespan think in this latter
> >manner. Strangely enough, most people appear to engage in both modes
> of
> >thought at the same time, applying the first to warm fuzzy animals and
> >the second to horrid humans.
>     Well, that's because they love animals and hate (adult) people.

And, of course, they forget that people are animals too.

>     More specifically, I think that a lot of this is driven by the
> human female mother instinct in many an animal activist.

I don't doubt that. Whether instinctive or not I don't know, but I have
it strongly myself. I have always liked children, I did a lot of baby
sitting when a teenager (quite rare for a male in my day), I very much
enjoy looking after my grandchildren, and I am ready and willing to have
another family sometime if the right woman comes along. I love animals
too and have always had pets.

Never-the-less, I taught myself to hunt and live off the land because I
wanted to gain the confidence of independence and face the full reality
of being a meat eater. Since ceasing to hunt 25 years ago I have been
largely vegetarian, at least, partly through not wanting to support the
standard conditions of food animals. However, I recognize that many
important research activities require the use of animals and I value
human life and saving it more than I value non-human animal life (except
perhaps for my best friend who happens to be a dog).

Sorry to get so far off-topic :)
Tom Matthews
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