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Author Topic: Are we made to die?  (Read 4755 times)

Offline Dimi

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Are we made to die?
« on: 21/09/2009 14:14:53 »
Seriously, are we programmed to die?

If in theory you could fufil all the needs on the spot, replacing much needed resources for the body to rejuvanate, and were kept away from any possible disease. Would you be able to survive?

By my understanding, old age isn't what kills us ~ its usually because we're in a weakened state that something fails due to a sickness or injury.

Or are we fated to die due to cell division, and the degradation of cell quality. Or can that be offset with the right nutrients aswell?


 

Offline Nizzle

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Are we made to die?
« Reply #1 on: 21/09/2009 14:49:52 »
We are made to reproduce!
And yes, we are programmed to die.
All cells except stem cells have a limited capacity to divide. This is regulated by telomeres. These are small repeats of DNA at the end of the chromosomes. Everytime a cell divides, and thus copies all of it's dna, some telomere repeats are lost. Once no telomere repeats are left, the cell cannot divide anymore and can only die.
 

Offline Pwee

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Are we made to die?
« Reply #2 on: 21/09/2009 16:16:27 »
We are made to reproduce!

Agreed.

And yes, we are programmed to die.

I'm not sure this is true. If you think of it, programed death is not beneficial for the individual, it is only beneficial for the group. This could only be explained by group evolution, but this theory hasn't been verified jet.
I think we are made so that we can survive and reproduce as long as it is possible for us. But in the current circumstances and environment this is the maximum that evolution could come up with the most cost effectively.

All cells except stem cells have a limited capacity to divide. This is regulated by telomeres. These are small repeats of DNA at the end of the chromosomes. Everytime a cell divides, and thus copies all of it's dna, some telomere repeats are lost. Once no telomere repeats are left, the cell cannot divide anymore and can only die.

The science of aging is a really fascinating area. It has countless  scientific theories, a lot of which is partly true. Telomere theory is only one of them.
There was a thread about this a little earlier this summer: here is the link.
« Last Edit: 21/09/2009 16:19:41 by Pwee »
 

Offline Titanscape

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Are we made to die?
« Reply #3 on: 21/09/2009 22:03:37 »
I think if the right parts of the chromosomes like the chromatids were unlike they are, we could live continuously. I forgot a lot of my limited studies in this.

Cells don't wear down like rubber, or Titanium. If the ageing factor was not there, we could repair and repair, given the right food and no accidents, and just go on and on. Always young, not growing, but regenerating like a youth.
 

Offline Dimi

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Are we made to die?
« Reply #4 on: 21/09/2009 23:27:33 »
Don't get me wrong, I am not looking for the secret of every lasting life... I am against it, but anything and everything fascinates me.

I am suprised that the other topic didn't pick up however.. I also tried searching for it but looks like I used the wrong keywords.

Since the advance in medicene, we have been living longer than we could possibly in the past ~ so something is being done right to us.
 

Offline Pwee

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Are we made to die?
« Reply #5 on: 22/09/2009 09:34:58 »
I think if the right parts of the chromosomes like the chromatids were unlike they are, we could live continuously. I forgot a lot of my limited studies in this.


But also if the right parts of our chromosomes were unlike they are now, we could be scaled fish tailed flying pigs. (Did I mention the unicorn horns?)
 

Offline that mad man

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Are we made to die?
« Reply #6 on: 24/09/2009 16:58:02 »
Hi Dimi.

Have a read about calorific restriction, something that I practice. I wont go into the mechanism of it here but its stated that it can increase life expectancy by many years.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calorie_restriction
 

Offline Titanscape

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Are we made to die?
« Reply #7 on: 26/09/2009 12:28:32 »
Remember Dolly the sheep, the clone. Due to her chromatids, kind of programming, she was born with a genetic age the same as the parent. Singular. And would be expected to die around the same time. Possibly has already.
 

Offline Nizzle

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Are we made to die?
« Reply #8 on: 13/10/2009 09:44:09 »
Cells don't wear down like rubber, or Titanium. If the ageing factor was not there, we could repair and repair, given the right food and no accidents, and just go on and on. Always young, not growing, but regenerating like a youth.

Except our brain of course, because if this organ would renew itself, we would not be able to store information ;)
 

Offline that mad man

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« Reply #9 on: 13/10/2009 15:51:53 »
I think its now accepted that the brain can renew parts and can also make new neurons.

See;

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neuroplasticity

 

Offline Nizzle

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« Reply #10 on: 14/10/2009 14:26:39 »
Agreed, but that wasn't my point.

The new neurons are blank (information wise speaking)
Neurons can be renewed, but the info stored on the old ones cannot..

It's like burning a book.
You will only retain the info if you copy the book first.
« Last Edit: 14/10/2009 14:28:46 by Nizzle »
 

Offline Pwee

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Are we made to die?
« Reply #11 on: 14/10/2009 18:43:58 »
The info is not actually stored on any neuron. (Or the majority of the info isn't.) It's not like a memory stick or something.
The key is in the connections and the network. But usually when you lose neurons you don't lose one, but a bunch of them. So the big damage is the loss of the connections.
 

Offline Pwee

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Are we made to die?
« Reply #12 on: 14/10/2009 18:51:37 »
Cells don't wear down like rubber, or Titanium. If the ageing factor was not there, we could repair and repair, given the right food and no accidents, and just go on and on. Always young, not growing, but regenerating like a youth.

Cells do wear down. Unwanted mutations always happen (there is a repairing mechanism for this, but it's not full proof). Cells and whole regions of the body get damaged irreparably, or are repaired faultily.
All kinds of wearing effects are there for example in our blood vessels, where not just cells but whole organs can slowly loose functionality.
 

Offline Dimi

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Are we made to die?
« Reply #13 on: 14/10/2009 22:13:10 »
Hm. But what causes the wear and tear, is it from not looking after it properly, or just the natural course

I have never heard of a natural death, its either in the last stages of old age - a vital organ gives out due to a sickness then everything else is just a butterfly effect. Or I've just been looking at the wrong places.
 

Offline Pwee

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Are we made to die?
« Reply #14 on: 14/10/2009 23:31:24 »
They give out easier if they're damaged and old. A younger body has more energy, regenerates faster, it's immune system works better.
One of the theories of aging sais that as one gets older there is more and more accumulated unrepairable/faultily repaired damage and bad mutations in the tissues.
 

Offline Dimi

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Are we made to die?
« Reply #15 on: 15/10/2009 01:07:58 »
Yes but why do they get damaged. Why do we lose our regenerative abilities? IS it due to toxicity, lack of nutrition, lack of exercise etc. Or does our rate of absorbtion go down regardless of what we do?
 

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Are we made to die?
« Reply #15 on: 15/10/2009 01:07:58 »

 

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