Re: Long term genome (was Re:Is crypreservation a solution?)

Henri Kluytmans (
Tue, 16 Sep 1997 20:31:19 +0000

Maybe you're thinking, WHAT, again a new extropian from EUROPE on this
I was already reading the Ex-list for while and I already knew about the
list for a longer time. But lately a couple of guys and me have formed
a Dutch Transhumanistic Society (or Institute, Organisation, Foundation
that still has to be determined) and they are all making quite a lot
of postings now, so I couldn't stay behind for long. Therefore, here my
first posting to this list:

Joao Pedro and Anders Sandberg discussed about rewriting the
human genetic code to increase the maximum human age.

My reaction to this is:

It isn't neccesary to totally rewrite our complete set of genes to
extend the human life. This most likely, will be an enormous complex
task which, I have no doubt, will some day be possible.

There are much less complex (however still not simple) ways to create
physical immortality without requiring any genetic alterations (to
the original code).

Just restore all the cells back to their original situation at the age
of 25 years (assumed they already have passed the age of 25 years).
How to do this : use cell-repair-machines as described by the molecular
nanotechnology concept. These machines should be able to repair all
possible molecular damage created by aging (or deseases), by deducting
the original structure from the damaged structure left.

Damaged DNA can be repaired by comparing the DNA of several different
neighbouring cells. Crossbonds can be repaired if detected.
Damaged proteines can be repaired because the cell repair machines
will have the programmed knowledge to detect damaged proteins
and to restore the original proteines. Etc.

Such a procedure of using cell repair machines should also be able to
repair damage created by cryonic preservation. Remember, damage is not
the same as destruction. Most (if not all) damage, created by cryonics,
that will render a cell biologically non-functional, can still be
repaired by cell-repair machines because the original structure
can still be DEDUCTED. I might add that cell repair machines will
be easily able to do that, because they will be controlled by
computers (with dimensions of cubic micrometers).

Joa Pedro seems to have a misconception about cryonics.
I sugest Joao Pedro to read some information concerning molecular
nanotechnology, to start with the books "Engines of Creation" and
"Unbounding the Future", which are both available online! Many
articles written by Ralph C. Merkle should also prove interesting.

>> What's the difference between altering you current brain and genome, and
>> transferring to a new one? Is there something special about the neurons
>> that nature gave us? And if they're so special, why don't you leave
>> them the way they are? I'm not so attached to them. As long as I can do
>> all the same things with my new consciousness-vehicle(or more things), why
>> should I care whether I've got organic axons or metal ones?
Joao Pedro then wrote:
>Transferring? Transferring what? Your brain? Your 'soul'?
>I never understood that uploading approach. Consciousness-vehicle? What
>is that? A machine with your thoughts?

Our brain is a network of neurons, the interactions between these
also generate our consciousness (or soul if you prefer). From
with artifcial neural networks and neurobiology it is known that the
behavior of the neural network is stored in it's structure (e.g. the
links between the neurons and the weight factors and switching values
(which are stored by proteins in the neurons) ).

If we could emulate a biological neuron within certain limits, we could
in principle emulate the complete brain. (After scanning the existing
brain structure, which will be a bit tricky.) Research is
currently being done to exactly emulate single neurons using
conventional computer systems. However to upload a complete brain
such systems seem to be quite inadequate. More likely
to be used for this are networks of artificial neurons or neurons
emulated by cellular automa (in quantum dot electronics?).

(This is a bottom-up way of creating "artificial" intelligence.)

With the consciousness-vehicle is meant the physical system on which
the neural network is running, be it biological neurons, artificial
neurons, or an electronic system emulating neurons.

Joao Pedro wrote:
>Natural selection, selects the genes that can produce the higher numbers
>of the most fit offspring whereas fitness is defined as the
>capacity to produce fit offspring.
Shouldn't that be:
Natural selection, selects the genes that can produce the highest
PER UNIT OF TIME of most fit offspring .

> Just our brain, is so much more advanced than a
> frog's that the possibilities of errors are incomparable.
Indeed, the human brain is more complex than that of a frog (or a
mouse). But
I seem not to be able to think of any other organs (or parts) of a human
that are also much more complex.

Because the future is where we will spend the rest of our lives ...
You see things and ask "Why?"  ;  I dream things and ask "Why not?"