Joao Pedro (
Thu, 23 Oct 1997 23:05:02 -0700


Kris Ganjam wrote:
> Would continually supplanting a brain with, say fetus neurons, permit some sort
> of biological uploading/augmentation, where the fresh neurons make up for/mimic
> the ones that are dying off in the adult brain? The brain does appear to have
> a fair bit of redundancy worked into its structure, so given some time to
> integrate themselves with the old neurons, the new ones may be enough for a
> transparent transition from one generation of neurons to the next.

It has been tried to insert fetus neurons in the spinal cord to cure
handicaped persons. Also, it has been tried to insert fetus neurons into
the brain to slow down aging, I believe Switzerland is the place to look
for this. As far as I know the results have been negative, it doesn't
work, at least for now.

Anders Sandberg wrote:
> > Your neurons might die because of the death
> > of the cells that support them (the glial cells) and since you won't
> > transplant these cells, you would still die.
> Small nitpick:_ the glial cells are mixed up with the neurons of the
> brain, if you transplant it, you will get the glial cells too.

I think we had a small communication problem here. When I mean
transplant, I mean body transplant since - like I wrote in my last post
- we can't transplant the brain. So when I say that we can't transplant
the glial cells, I mean that the glial cells will be kept with the
neurons. I think you misundertood me, we both mean the same thing. It
was just a problem with language.

> "Kris Ganjam" <> writes:
> > On Oct 22, 9:39pm, Joao Pedro wrote:
> > >One other way to cheat aging is to build a spaceship, travel fast enough
> > >through space and return
> > >home when a few centuries have passed on Earth while only a few years passed
> > on >the spaceship! Okay, it's a bit too crazy and the resources needed would be
> > >huge, not to mention the
> > >technologies, but I'll try anything.
> >
> > Does angular velocity produce relativistic time dilation effects? Would it be
> > possible to get your head and/or body to spin/orbit fast enough to time warp
> > into the future without the centrifugal force turning it to pulp?
> My guess is no, to get relativistic effects you would need huge
> accelerations. I'm not 100% sure about the time dilation effects of
> rotation, but they would also be inhomogenous.

I agree.

> Of course, using relativity to move into the future faster isn't life
> extension, since you don't get more life and experiences, just spread
> them out across a longer span of time as seen by an external observer.

The idea would be to wonder in space (not very far since we wouldn't
have much time) until the scientists on earth could figure out a way to
stop aging. We would spend, for example, 20 years in space while on
earth 500 years would have passed. We wouldn't die of aging and when we
would return we would certainly have aging cured.

BTW, thank you for your reply on the questions I sent you.

Kris Ganjam wrote:
> Assuming we can engineer designer restriction enzymes/ligases with the ability
> to cut and paste DNA segments with high specificity, and that a
> distribution/communication system can be set up to apply these operations to
> all of the cells in a body, implementing the newly found bug-fix/patch to some
> disease should be straightforward. Eventually, this should lead to an
> optimized and perhaps minimal genome which will allow standarized (platform
> independent?) disease patches and/or body subsystem upgrades. This technology
> should arrive much before nanotech, as much of the enzyme machinery is already
> in place. Designing the genetic patches and predicting their side effects is,
> of course, the hard part, but nanotech faces the same hurdle. Are
> object-oriented protein languages & compilers far off?

I agree this sounds wonderful but I am quite skeptic if this
technologies will arrive in time to save us. In my opinion, the biggest
problem is the application of any technique to all cells. Today we can
build virus to transfer genes to the cells but only a tiny percentage of
a culture of cells can be modified. And we can't just correct a few of
the cells, we have to correct most - not all but most - of them. And
that is a major problem

         Hasta la vista...

"Life's too short to cry, long enough to try." - Kai Hansen Reason's Triumph at: