Re: >H Protein Antifreeze

From: Eugene Leitl (
Date: Fri Jan 07 2000 - 14:54:56 MST

The idea of transfecting animal cells with vectors causing switched
expression of antifreeze proteins in situ is not exactly new (have a
gander at ), and of course greatly preferable to
using bacteria (there are bacteria which can exist within animal
cells, but not too many, and they will be definitely hard to control).

Robert Bradbury writes:
> Oppps, Anders slips a little (such a rare occurence, that I've got

No, I think Anders (as usually) is right.

> to grab the fleeting meme). The problem with this is the same problem
> with Greg Stock's "added chromosome" discussed at Extro4. Any protein
> manufactured in your body post-immune-system training is going to be
> viewed as "foreign" (i.e. viral in origin) and will cause a killer
> cell attack on those cells producing such proteins. Whether this would

1) Immunoreaction takes time to gear to full response
2) Immunoreaction can be supressed (and, with a typical patient, is
   not in the best shape anyway)

We're talking about the end of your biological life span, something
taking few days or weeks at best. The problem is having a quantitative
tranfection vector targeting neural tissue without destroying
it. Doing it before (say, at birth) is very risky since gene
insertions are never quantitative and not as targeted as we would wish
(I don't think a walking bag of carcinomas is a tolerable side effect).

Of course it should be possible to do vertical gene engineering
(antifreeze expression as heritable trait).

But why bother? It doesn't help the living, and those born when we
have the skills won't need the technology anyway.

> be significant in the time frame of cryonics suspension is questionable,
> but you will have to suppress that arm of the immune system on cryonic
> reanimation until you purge those proteins. In Greg's approach, you
> either have to suppress that arm of the immune system entirely (not good
> from the perspective of cancer & viral disease prevention) or find a way
> to train the immune system to tolerate any "new" proteins. Not impossible,
> but at the edge of current science.

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