immortality as an engineering problem

Jeff Dee jeff at illusionmachines.com
Fri Jul 17 09:38:29 EST 1998

Excelife wrote:
> cryon at mindspring.com says...
> >
> >Avatar <bgsohns at clsp.uswest.net> wrote:
> >
> >>Actually, the one TRUE way to life forever seemingly ageless (this does NOT
> >>include decease), is to find a way to give NORMAL human cells an immortal
> >>cell lining.

> >Yep, they will probably have sumpin' like dat in de "distant future,"
> >but how we gonna get *our* sorry, usenet-readin' asses *there*?

> The "distant future" may be closer than you think.  Dr. J.Shay et.al.
> published a report in SCIENCE Jan 16;279(5349):349-352 showing that by
> extending the telomeric length at the ends of human chromosomes that those
> cells would survive beyond their normal senescence and death.

I've been follwing that, but I'm also a supporter of 
cryionics research (which, I take it, is what Cryon 
was getting at). Until we know for sure exactly 
which approaches are going to have practical 
applications, it makes sense to support every line 
of research in which advances are still being made. 
Besides, even if we get biological immortality via 
telomere lengthening, I can still think of plenty of 
uses for cronic prservation!

> Dr. C. Greider
> in current biology Vol. 8, No. 5, Feb. 1998 showed that the precursor to the
> enzyme telomerase, hTERT, can, by acting on the telomeres, cause human cells
> to live beyond their normal senescence and death.
> In plain english they have found the cause and the cure for aging.
> There are, of course, a lot of caveats and restrictions like it doesnt work
> on nerve or other non-reproducing cells and there is still no concrete
> evidence that cellular aging is directly related to survival of the entire
> organism, and uncontrolled telomerase activity does lead to cancer but this
> is nit-picking.
> Over the next five to ten years this legitimate scientific research is going
> to extend your life span!

I've been wondering... is the introduction of 
hTERT into a cell a one-time operation, or does 
it eventually "wear out" and have to be re-

-Jeff Dee

"It is as morally bad not to care whether a thing is true 
or not, so long as it makes you feel good, as it is not to 
care how you got your money as long as you have got it."
-Edmund Way Teale, "Circle of the Seasons", 1950

jeff at illusionmachines.com *

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