Re: Is cryopreservation a solution?

Henri Kluytmans (
Tue, 23 Sep 1997 20:07:41 +0000

I wrote:
>> I thought your claim was "For extending the human life
>> it is required to rewrite the DNA." ?
>> i.e. not just correcting the errors, but designing a completely
>> new DNA.
Joa Pedro replied:
>No, rewriting the DNA doesn't mean writing a whole new DNA, it means
>correcting the existing errors. If one writes a completely new DNA the
>consequences can be disastrous.

I wrote:
>> We're both assuming the cell will have to be repaired continuously.
>> Only you're counting on designing new biological machines
>> to do the repairing, using the programming language of the DNA.
Joa Pedro replied:
>Not exactly, my idea is not repair but to prevent damage, by correcting
>the errors you prevent the damage in the first place and you won't need
>to repair anything (well, .probably old persons already much 'damaged'
>by time and age will need to be repaired)

It seems, you're assuming that aging is only caused by error's in
the DNA. If I understand correctly you're assuming these error's
are already present from the beginning (so you're not referring
to the random error's created by damage to the DNA during life

Question : Exactly what kind of error's are you having in mind ?

The "error's" present in the original DNA are not the only causes
of aging. In most cases other contributions are more important :

1) For part of the biochemical processes in the cell the use of
free-radicals is essential. Because biochemical processes
are largely determined by statistics (movements of the
reagents are not controlled but are random), free-radicals
can drift to places where they can do harm.

2) Damage created by radiation (high energy photons or
particle radiation)

3) The buildup of harmful wasteproducts which are not completely
removed by the processes in the cell

4) Maybe I forgot a few other causes ..... ?

All these result in :
-damage to the DNA coding (possibly creating a cancer cell)
-creation of unwanted cross-bonds
-damage rendering proteins non-functional

However biology is using ways to fight this damage by repair
mechanisms. Proteins and other cell-parts are constantly
replaced. The DNA is checked for error's which are corrected. But
these processes are however not capable (by design!) of correcting
all the damage. Gradually the accumulating damage is rendering
the complete cell non-functional (aging of the body).

Therefore (cell-) aging cannot be prevented by only "correcting"
the "errors" that were present in the original DNA.

Actually, till now, I was automatically assuming the immortality
of each cell to be necessary for immortality of the body. But
ofcourse this is not required. Non-functional cell's can be
replaced by new cell's. However for extreme immortality this
process will not do away with all damage, because damaged DNA
will be transferred to the new cell's. After a long enough
period (a thousand years?) this will result in all cell's having
error's in their DNA.

For example, the cells do correct error's in their DNA. They do this
by comparing the opposing bases of the DNA helices. But if the damage
is so extensive that a complete basepair is damaged beyond recognision,
this process will not be able to correct the error.

However MNT will be able to (easily) repair even this damage.
It will just compare the DNA from several separate neighboring
cells! There is no existing biological process which can do this.
That is why I claim that to reach immortality (using only
genetic code altering) the DNA has to be completely redesigned.
(Because new, more extensive, repair processes are required.)

(Ofcourse, nature doesn't want the DNA to be completely fault
resistant, because then natural evolution would stop. This however
is no problem for our human future, because artificial evolution is
much faster than natural evolution.)

And we haven't even discussed diseases caused by bacteria and
viruses. Which can be fought enormously effectively by MNT.
(Because the probes build for fighting diseases in the body can
be intelligently controlled, and reprogrammed almost instantly
(by broadcast...) to recognize any new virus or bacterium.

>> Why do I think artificial MNT cell-repair machines are easier to
>> design? Because you don't have to use DNA gene programming !!
Joa Pedro replied:
>No but you will still have to know what to repair, there are countless
>errors in our genome each of them creating it's own effect, there are
>several defective proteins and you will have to know what these are in
>order to repair them.
When MNT cell-repair machines are used you don't have to alter the
original DNA. The DNA only has to be checked for new error's caused
by damage. Unwanted crossbonds have to be detected and removed. And
non-functional proteines have to be recognized and repaired. This
should render the cell completely "healthy" again.

Joa Pedro replied:
>MNT is highly dependent on microbiology to achieve
>the purpose you propose.
Actually, there are different pathways for developing MNT. Personally
I guess the microbiology pathway is more complicated and therefore less
likely to succeed first, I favor the STM/AFM pathway. However
it also seems likely that a hybrid approach can be used.

>As a conclusion, I think MNT might also play a role in achieving life
>extension, to repair the damage done to our cells, perhaps even to
>change our genes (gene therapy is still not achieving great results
>lately) but the ultimate way to achieve life extension is by correcting
>our DNA.
That depends on what you consider ultimate. However I still claim that
you will have to redesign the complete DNA.

I hope you will see that MNT is the best (only feasible) pathway
to real immortality.

>> Ok, we have read out all genes, but that doesn't mean that we understand
>> the program that is written in the genes. I can print out the bits (or
>> bytes) of a computer program. Everybody can read the ones and zero's,
>> even
>> copy them. But do they understand what they are reading, do they
>> understand
>> what the program will do? NO!!!
Joa Pedro replied:
>Some aging and senescence related genes have been mapped and some works
>(like in Aeiveos, are trying to map the genes
>that influence and originate aging.
OK, empirical investigation will work to some extend, but actually I
was referring to a complete redesign of the DNA, which I still see
as the only possible way to reach immortality, when using the DNA
approach ONLY. (But as I told before, I see less complicated ways
to reach immortality.)

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?"