IUBio Biosequences .. Software .. Molbio soft .. Network News .. FTP

Attitudes to life extension via genetic engineering

Anders Sandberg nv91-asa at mumrik.nada.kth.se
Mon Feb 13 11:49:23 EST 1995


John de Rivaz wrote:
>I have been asked to gather information on attitudes of optimism and 
>resistance to life extension by genetic programming. 

(I assume you mean genetic engineering, not genetic programming which is
something completely different).

I would say I'm optimistic about the technical possibilities, once we
overcome most of our rather irrational resistance against modifying the
human genome. Some possibilities (which I really would like to hear
comments about):

Increasing expression of superoxide-dismutase and other anti-oxidation
enzymes; this will make the body more resistant to free radicals,
environmental dangers and perhaps slow aging somewhat.

Increase of DNA correction rate by increasing expression of repair enzymes
These two methods don't appear that hard to use, since we only need to
create more copies or promoters for the genes (evolution haven't done this,
since it would require more energy (which we humans have plenty of) and
long lifespan is normally not selected for).

If the telomer-theory of cell death is true, then improvements of telomerase
activity would also prolong the lifespan. However, this may require some
careful design, since it would also increase the risk of cancer (this should
preferably be used together with promotion of DNA repair enzymes and anti-
oncogenes). 

Are there other useful methods? I'm working right now on a page about
possible genetic modifications, and would be grateful for additions.
--
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Anders Sandberg			 	  	     Towards Ascension!
nv91-asa at hemul.nada.kth.se   http://www.nada.kth.se/~nv91-asa/main.html
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y


-- 
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Anders Sandberg			 	  	     Towards Ascension!
nv91-asa at hemul.nada.kth.se   http://www.nada.kth.se/~nv91-asa/main.html
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y






More information about the Ageing mailing list

Send comments to us at biosci-help [At] net.bio.net