Re: Human Cloning: The Trade-In Strategy

Anders Sandberg (
Mon, 24 Feb 1997 15:38:23 +0100 (MET)

On Sun, 23 Feb 1997, Hal Finney wrote:

> And how about the brain cells? Don't they age, with toxic byproducts
> building up, DNA damage, etc.? I don't have the impression that brain
> tissue is particularly immortal. If not, then even if transplanting
> worked it may not help much for extending maximum life span because the
> brain will die in a few years anyway.

Yes, the brain does age. Not as noticeably as other parts of the body, but
it does loose some neurons and accumulate lipofuchines (sp?) and other
likely waste-products. One intriguing theory about Parkinson's disease is
that the neurons of the substantia nigra simply age too fast (I don't know
if it has any support, though). Putting it into a new body might be
helpful, but it will not solve the basic aging.

It is not known how long a brain could live "on its own" (there is no such
thing yet). It doesn't seem to loose efficiency as much as other parts of
the body, so likely it could live beyond 110 years if the rest of the body
was kept young, but we don't know for sure.

Anders Sandberg Towards Ascension!
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y