Life extension and technology

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by nitro, Oct 13, 2009.

If a true elixir of youth existed, would you drink from it?

  1. Yes, I would love to live this long.

    34 vote(s)
  2. No, I can't stand myself now.

    2 vote(s)
  3. I don't know.

    1 vote(s)
  4. I think I would, but I think people are not capable of filling their lifes that long.

    2 vote(s)
  1. nitro


    I have been studying why we age. It turns out that basically we are programmed to live and there is no genetic basis for aging, but it is damage to our cells that causes aging.

    I believe that in the future, nano-technology will create extremely small robots that will be programmed to go into the body and repair cellls en-masse, extending life.

    From another direction, people like

    are identifying at the genetic and molecular level what actually happens and how we can extend life, to the point where we could live to be 1000 years old, and for much of that time we would be young.

    The question is, would you want to live this long?
  2. nitro


    One of my favorite episodes from Star Trek is:

    "Requiem for Methuselah"

    I think this is probably why I would love to live this long. Can you imagine? You can be Da Vinci if given enough time, or learn to compose like Brahms, to write like Shakespear, etc..

    The first 100 years of your life you would be an idiot like everybody else, and then one day you would begin to appreciate the truly wonderous. Given 900 years, just about any of us could be amazing.
  3. I believe it is very possible. Not only nanotechonology, but the core instructions at the very DNA itself may be re-engineered (future will be a gold mine for those that reap).

    That being said, it brings a very whole new set of philosophical issues to light, such as population dynamics and scarcity of resources. Considering how resources are hoarded by few, I shudder to think of the outcome.
    Cosmetic vanity for those that can afford it (what happens to those that can't; survival of the fittest).

    Of course, that's what fiction writers are for.=)

    There was a good fiction story I read some time back about a senator that was a staunch, vocal religious critic of stem cell research (republican). Yet, when he found out he had Parkinson's or Alzheimer's, he himself quietly went to an offshore center for experimental research to use a stem cell based cure.
    Not too far from reality, IMO.
  4. As long as you don't go in here and try to get everyone in your father's mutual fund, check out ;)

    There's some amazing reading in there.
  5. promagma


  6. 1) 3-0-0-0
    2) Would Larry King and Andy Rooney still keep their jobs? :cool:
  7. the evolution selects not for life per se but for the ability to pass on genes. our bodies are just temporarily vehicles the genes ride in. while the body is young (pre-reproductive and reproductive stages) the mechanisms that repair cell damage are fully functional. when the body goes post-reproductive the repair mechanisms slowly shut down and/or deteriorate. this shut-down is not an active process but rather the consequence of the absence of an active process to keep the repair mechanism going. so, we are slowly dying as everything gets rustier or clogged more. :mad:

    the good news is that all repair mechanisms are still present at the post-reproductive stage. what is needed is a trick to fully activate those repair processes. one trick that works remarkably well is calorie restriction. presumably, under starvation the body postpones reproductive functions for better (fatter) times. to get to those better times in good shape it super-activates the repair mechanisms (intracellular repair robots).

    the next step is to have the drug (e.g. a resveratrol analog) that will trick the body into a calorie restricted state without the need to actually consume less calories.
  8. nitro


    Annoying that they keep taking these videos down. Here is a new link:
  9. olias


    I would take that potion as long as my friends and family did too.

    I'm not a big believe in marriage, but I wonder how others feel about being married for 500 they really expect to stay with one person that long? I just don't think that kind of love exists. The love we've been sold since childhood does not exist. It's not meant to last, just like anything else.

    by the way, I love the original Star Trek...the way they use scientific possibilities to make us re-examine the things that we regard as 'good' and 'true'.

    I love the fact that they have whole episodes available on Youtube
  10. One thing that I recall is, that among mammals, there seems a certain number of heartbeats one expects over a lifetime (the lifetime warranty? *smile*). From shrew to elephant. Tiny hearts beat extremely fast and ddie quickly and the large hearts beat slowly and live long.

    There has been some research that people with very low heart rates such as runners are expected to have a significantly longer life (on average).
    #10     Aug 25, 2010