Don Ashley dashley at TENET.EDU
Sun Apr 2 18:46:34 EST 1995

O'Neill enlightens the public about terms related to generic ambitions to 
arrest the aging process and extend lifespans an extra 100 years.

The public must be informed of the concepts and terminology in order to 
promote govt'l funding and private investments for research.

 On Sun, 2 Apr 1995, Patrick O'Neil wrote: 

> On Sun, 2 Apr 1995, Andrew K. Groves wrote:
> > In article <Pine.SOL.3.91.950401211906.17841A-100000 at corona>, Patrick
> > O'Neil <patrick at corona> wrote:
> > 
> > >   The DNA and proteins that first made me no longer exist, as they were 
> > > the precise strands of DNA and extant proteins within the zygote that led 
> > > to me.  Those original cells and their contents have long ceased to exist 
> > > ....
> >
> > We are dealing with a problem of definition here. Dr. Bogler and myself
> > are using a set of precise definitions (which I will outline below) that
> > ...divide and rapidly fill up the area on the dish. At this point, they 
> > will
> > stop dividing. They are said to be QUIESCENT. If you dissociate the cells
> > on the dish, and replate them at a lower density, the cells will start
> > dividing again... You can repeat this process between four and six 
> > times (by
> > which time each of your founder cells will have divided probably between
> > 20 and 30 times). At this point, the cells once more stop dividing, and
> > become noticeably flattened. They cannot now be induced to divide any
> > more. They are said now to be SENESCENT. Senescent cells do not die...
>   I apologize for picking at details, particularly amongst a group that 
> basically knows what it is talking about (vs those in sci.cryonics and 
> related).  Even a senescent cell cannot continue indefinitely since 
> stochastic processes, as well as environmental effectors work to cleave, 
> dimerize, hydrolyze, radicalize, etc, etc, DNA, proteins, and lipids and 
> that the cellular house-keeping genes and proteins are not 100% perfect 
> in detection nor repair/maintenance.  Thus, even a senescent cell is 
> going to die no matter how well it is treated - BUT it is not, certainly, 
> as subject to irreparable damage and alterations as is any actively 
> replicating cell and is not subject to all the same problems.  In the 
> best of circumstances, a senescent cell may last a long time but it is 
> definitely a finite period.  The only way around this is, paradoxically, 
> to divide, at least periodically, which brings the dangers inherent in 
> THIS activity (base misincorporation, template slippage, insertions).  
>   Granted, this should all more likely be directed at another group - that 
> might envision human immortality rather than a more realistic life 
> extension or improvement in the quality of normal human lifespan, but it 
> is these type of nitnoid details that I approach this area from; and from 
> these little details, I try to pick out areas that might be exploitable 
> or of interest (balancing just the right amount of replication with 
> stasis - how and at what level would normal degradative processes be most 
> optimally balanced though never defeated.  From this, you could either 
> obtain the most life-extension for the buck, as it were, or the best 
> quality gains).  If it seems that I am clouding the issue this is not my 
> intent.
> Patrick

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