[FoRK] Fw: Re: Extreme Life Extension: Investing in Cryonics for the Long, Long Term

Ken Ganshirt @ Yahoo ken_ganshirt at yahoo.ca
Mon Jun 21 22:37:41 PDT 2010


[This post originally went straight to Silky instead of the list.]

> --- On Mon, 6/21/10, silky <michaelslists at gmail.com> wrote:
 
> > --- On Tue, 6/22/10, Ken Ganshirt @ Yahoo <ken_ganshirt at yahoo.ca> wrote:
> >
> > Replacing the planks looks a helluva lot more promising to me.
> 
> Replacing body parts with machine parts is probably pretty promising,
> agreed. But doing the same thing to the brain is pretty interesting. I
> don't know what the research in that area is. Maybe there are
> interesting things happening there; it would be interesting to learn
> about.
> 

When I said "replacing the planks looks a helluva lot more
promising", I wasn't talking about replacing body parts with
machine parts. 

I was talking about the body's natural continuous process
of replacing its own cells.

I have no specific technical knowledge of the field but I
understand it this way: Our body constantly replaces its own
cells with new copies. The blueprint to make the copies
comes from the patterns in our genes. As far as I know, this
applies to all the cells in our body. I am not aware that
any subcategory of cell, e.g. brain cells, is exempt from
this constant replacement process.

As far as I know, none of the cells that are currently me
are the cells that I was born with.

But over time the copies degrade because the genetic
information that is controlling the creation of the copies
is constantly degrading as we age. As I understand it, I
think that is the essence of "aging": each generation of
replacement cells is a little worse than its predecessors. 

There are many things that gene therapy is trying to
accomplish. I'm pretty sure one of them is to figure out a
way to stop the degradation of the genetic blueprint itself
so the replacement copies remain as good when we are
chronologically older as they are when we are young.

That's what I meant about the body's analogy to the Ship of
Theseus (replacing the planks == replacing the individual
cells). (Am I still Me when all my cells have been
replaced?)  8-)

Caveats:

   Perhaps it's not gene therapy but some other field of genetics that is working on this problem.

   Perhaps I still do have all the cells I started with.

   Perhaps I'm talking straight out of my ass. ;-)

I stand - cheerfully - to be corrected, in terminology and
concept, by someone who actually understands the work being
done in the field(s).

          ...ken...






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