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Author Topic: Postponing Aging  (Read 776 times)

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Offline OneOfAKiindTopic starter

Postponing Aging
« on: May 26, 2009, 04:31:57 PM »
Dr Aubrey de Grey at Cambridge University is working on postponing age indefinitely...

If You could live forever, or even for 1000 years, would you? I guess in my mind, I think about the Green Mile, when you live so long and no one else you love does, would you still do it?

Or what if you could live forever, but you were stuck in a 60 year old's body?

Then again, with today's other technology, what's a facelift here or there?

http://www.worldhealth.net/news/the_immortal_question_are_we_on_the_brin

Offline Trieste

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Re: Postponing Aging
« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2009, 04:39:00 PM »
That's kinda cool.

Offline Vekseid

Re: Postponing Aging
« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2009, 04:40:50 PM »

Offline OneOfAKiindTopic starter

Re: Postponing Aging
« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2009, 04:55:04 PM »
 :-) much more thorough, thanks Vekseid.

I guess another question I have is, do you think it's worth spending money on and investing time in versus another area of science? "How is suffering and death caused by the general deterioration of aging any different from suffering and death caused by a specific age-related condition we understand and have given a name?" is a very eloquent way of putting it, but do you think there is a difference, or do you agree with that statement?

Offline Trieste

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Re: Postponing Aging
« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2009, 09:43:27 PM »
Given that many age-related diseases are just the results of a lifetime of wear and tear ... understanding the aging process is very important. If we understand aging, it helps us understand things like cancer - or perhaps we need to understand cancer first, since developing cancer is pretty statistically inevitable if you live long enough. Certain diseases like Alzheimer's are different, and also not very well understood. We think it's similar in mechanism to a variant version of Creuzfeld-Jakob (the human version of Mad Cow, also called vCJD for short) but we're almost positive that it's not actually contagious at any dosage. It has hereditary leanings, but like everything else, you're not guaranteed to get it even if both parents develop it.

But things that we spent hundreds of millions if not billions of dollars on ... liver spots. Sagging and thin skin. Greying hair. Osteoperosis. Losing teeth. Fragile bones. Settling cheekbones. Why not combine them all and research the root cause - essentially, getting old?

The thing that people need to understand is that there is not a 'limit' on scientific research. There is only limited funding, limited manpower. The limits are externally imposed - and there is enough money in the world that if we take on the attitude of researching science once again for curiosity's sake instead of what's 'worth our time', we will benefit much more. If we get our children interested in science and encourage it as something based on smarts and not on your economic status. If we adopt the idea that not just 'rich kids' become scientists, but people who don't have Mumsy and Daddykins to support them through twenty years of post-grad... Some of the most ubiquitous modern conveniences were discovered in the course of other, unrelated research... there is no corner that is not worth peeking into when it comes to the world around us.

*blinks down at soapbox* Oh, hey, how'd that get there? Erm, 'scuse me. *flees off into the night*

Offline Indigo

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Re: Postponing Aging
« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2009, 11:39:53 PM »
If You could live forever, or even for 1000 years, would you?
I guess in my mind, I think about the Green Mile, when you live so long and no one else you love does, would you still do it?
Or what if you could live forever, but you were stuck in a 60 year old's body?


1. Yes
2.Yes
3. Yes

...and just to reaffirm.  HELL YES.

Life baby...we only have it once...if I could live my life and add one of the above?  I would, with a -Caveat- I get to decide when enough it enough. 

--And then I think about my answers, and my family..and I can't imagine wanting to really live without them, and I know my answers are quick, selfish things that have no thought or depth. I really don't want to live without my family, my loves, yet still.....is it wrong to think about future love, life, knowledge and want it?

...hmm...crap...I don't know...I have no answer to these questions really.  So I imagine I will 'take what shall be' and enjoy it to the fullest, while I dream my dreams in the still of night.

Offline Vekseid

Re: Postponing Aging
« Reply #6 on: May 27, 2009, 02:15:03 AM »
I'm with the lot that thinks de Grey is optimistic, but not wrong, and not wildly optimistic, either. If money seriously became available to anti-aging research (as in, billions rather than the paltry millions it has now), one would assume that his estimate of most people under forty surviving to see a thousand would seem pessimistic.

Offline The Overlord

Re: Postponing Aging
« Reply #7 on: May 27, 2009, 03:32:11 AM »


If You could live forever, or even for 1000 years, would you? I guess in my mind, I think about the Green Mile, when you live so long and no one else you love does, would you still do it?


I would say yes. If humanity doesn't find a way to self-destruct, we're going to do some mind-numbing and amazing stuff in the next thousand years. I'd like to see the postcards from Mars, seeing Jupiter in the sky over a colony on Europa...the view of Neptune drifting through the geysers on Triton. Extreme AI, archologies, terraforming, interstellar travel. Once everyone I used to know have faded into history, oh yeah, I'll miss them for centuries, but there will be a lot more to focus on too.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2009, 03:33:28 AM by The Overlord »

Offline Lithos

Re: Postponing Aging
« Reply #8 on: May 27, 2009, 05:43:23 AM »
Right now I think that we should rather research how to keep planet population in control unless humanity finally gets up from resting on its ass and gets world war 3 started. After over growth has evened out, then it is time to look at ways to prolong human life, and I am sure that we will find ways just the same ways we have made break through in other sciences. Also if we think about what eventually has to be done - leaving this planet. Longer lifespan could be pretty much requirement unless we get some really mind boggling break troughs in ways to travel in this universe.

At least we are lucky to live in interesting times. Even during normal human lifespan we will see some pretty amazing things, have seen them allready. Increase of among of information mankind as whole generates and stores, and increase in data processing capabilities past 20 years has been mind boggling. I am pretty sure that when we look at things we had right now in 20-30 years, we will be wondering about how silly and primitive things were.

Offline HairyHeretic

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Re: Postponing Aging
« Reply #9 on: May 27, 2009, 07:40:42 AM »
Stopping the aging process is all well and good, but in that case you'd need to stop population growth as well. At least til humanity becomes able to colonise other worlds.

Offline Duncan

Re: Postponing Aging
« Reply #10 on: May 27, 2009, 07:54:52 AM »
I am religious and would like to ask others of faith as well, how do you feel on living forever.  I hope I don't come off wrong asking this.  I just was thinking to myself, how would it be if we never died.  Would the crime rate raise since so many would not fear the afterlife? 

Offline HairyHeretic

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Re: Postponing Aging
« Reply #11 on: May 27, 2009, 08:39:16 AM »
Not dying of aging is not immortality. Disease, accidents, violence ... all those will still injure and kill.

Offline OneOfAKiindTopic starter

Re: Postponing Aging
« Reply #12 on: May 27, 2009, 08:40:28 AM »
I am religious and would like to ask others of faith as well, how do you feel on living forever.  I hope I don't come off wrong asking this.  I just was thinking to myself, how would it be if we never died.  Would the crime rate raise since so many would not fear the afterlife?

Just means longer prison sentences!

@HairyHeretic: population growth is a big problem... I have nothing else to say about that lest I mistakenly say something that would offend someone when talking about how many people I know are having babies when they can't take care of them....

@Lithos: the development of internets was pretty awesome. I remember the first time I used a computer, one of those really old ones to play the original tetris. Mmmm. and of course everything else that has been developed recently. I'd die without my cell phone and GPS.

@the Overlord: Space is cool. If we started colonizing on other plants, I would so want to be one of the first ones out there. However, not having any sort of science-related degree, I would probably be useless to them.



I guess to answer my own question, I would agree with Indigo. I would like to live as long as i want. Live until enough is enough, and hopefully that would be before the world turns on itself...

Offline Nikkia

Re: Postponing Aging
« Reply #13 on: May 29, 2009, 11:04:49 AM »
Hmm. This is a tough question. I remember reading Tuck Everlasting back in what? Junior High? And that certainly downplayed "living forever."

I guess if I didn't age, I wouldn't mind. I wouldn't want to continue aging, though. Being 160, blind, deaf and weak, isn't much of a life.