Re: Nanotech control systems (was Re: Transhuman Beach Party)
Fri, 10 Sep 1999 20:58:21 EDT

In a message dated 9/10/99 12:02:18 AM Pacific Daylight Time, writes:

> On Fri, 10 Sep 1999 wrote:
> >
> > Well, yes, but developmental genes are off in adults. The developmental
> > tweaks we're getting good at are ineffective in adults and unsafe for
> > children.
> But are there any barriers to *enabling* them? I believe that there
> was a recent announcement that scientists had discovered a collection
> of 3-4 genes that in *adult* mice allowed wound healing to take on
> the characteristics of "normal development" rather than "scar tissue".
> If it doesn't involve dozens of genes, we already have the tools
> (though they are somewhat unrefined) to turn them on or off.
I believe that's just to make joe connective tissue. The genes involved in making structures expect to be on in reasonable complex 3-D patterns. There are hundreds of genes already known to be involved in development and the number keeps going up.

All things considered, it might be easier to grow a human hand or kidney in a tissue-culture situation (actually, attached to some immunotolerant organism) than to regenerate it in the target.

>> For spare parts we need in vitro organs plus reactivation of neural
>> development.

>Would you perhaps qualify *what* organs need neural development and
>why? Heart, I might accept, liver or kidney I would be more skeptical

I agree with you on this; although virtually everything has and uses neural connection it seems like a number of internal organs can get by without it. I was thinking in terms of your example, hands. Livers, incidentally, can
already regrow partially in vivo and I expect them to be the first replaceable

>the insertion of a neural-net mapping chip that is both "programmable"
>and has a much higher training rate than normal neurons seems a reasonable
>solution to this problem.

Ahh, so grow the hand on (say) a pig, with its own nervous system, and then put in an interface? Cute idea.