Re: Cornering the causes of aging

From: Robert J. Bradbury (
Date: Sun Jul 09 2000 - 20:59:57 MDT

On Mon, 10 Jul 2000, Damien Broderick wrote:

> It seems to come back to the issue of disseminated maintenance mechanisms.
> And if they don't exist in nature, we'll have to develop them, along the
> lines of Freitas's suggestions with hard nanogadgets or maybe using
> synthetic chromosomes packed with repair kits - which, sadly for us, would
> most easily be introduced into embryos rather than decaying adults...

Caca.... You have been reading one page too many from the Campbell/Stock
book of genetic engineering.

1) The process of introducing chromosomes into embryos is far from simple.
2) Introducing foreign genes in adults need not be any more difficult
   than catching a cold or tuberculosis.

The Nanomedicine/Freitas nuclear genome replacement strategies are
in the long run the best approach, but we are not so poorly equipped
with regard to biotech options before full scale nanotech arrives.

The delivery mechanisms exist. In many cases the programs that
perform maintenance exist (perhaps in other species). Where we
will hit the rocks is when we run into those cases where no programs
exist (say for the exact replacement of neurons and their interconnects
when an old neuron accumulates so much damage that it is nonfunctional).
Stealing and applying old designs is easy, new designs may be very
very difficult. Ask our rocket scientists...


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