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Author Topic: Is Immortality Possible?  (Read 7758 times)

Offline ScientificSorcerer

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Is Immortality Possible?
« on: 16/04/2013 21:18:07 »
Ok, I don't know how immortality could be archived which is why I'm making this new topic. I know My share of how science thinks immortality could be archived, with telomeres and all that crap. I just want to get a good thread going here with Ideas on how to proceed, theoretically speaking of course.  If you're a good chemist/biologist who knows we could crack the code and potentially become immortal. =)  I doubt it but if your interested we could still talk about it.  I myself find the whole idea of immortality alluring and fascinating.

To start this thread off I believe that the answer could lie in the strange world of mutagens. I know that most mutagens are carcinogenic which is the deadly kind of immortal cells. but not all of them are deadly, I looked at experiments done in the 50's on fruit flies and bugs, crazy stuff probably happened in labs like those back then, some people on the internet speculate that experiments on people took place in an attempt to make super-soldiers for the cold war. Who knows what monstrosities were created in those black project government laboratories that you never hear about. I bet with new DNA sequencing technology you could figure out what exactly those mutagens actually do to insects and such to gather a basis of information on DNA effects of mutagens.  To me the whole subject reminds me of those classic mad scientists with a synthesizer playing in the background.  I'm no mad scientist but I like that old science culture form that time, I watch those old black and white science fiction movies too much.  My imagination runs ramped. ;D

But this thread isn't about what I think its about what you think, Post whatever you want on the subject and maybe we could get a good group going.  No Idea is not allowed just post what ever comes to mind.   ]:>P

Check out these links on just how real this science is
NR=1&feature=fvwp
« Last Edit: 16/04/2013 22:07:51 by evan_au »


 

Offline evan_au

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Re: Is Immortality Possible?
« Reply #1 on: 17/04/2013 10:23:07 »
Genetic Engineering is still a risky business - it's not ready to genetically modify a whole army.

What is possible today is to determine which genes lead to better stamina and immunity to pain and hunger. You can then genetically screen potential soldiers to see which ones have these genes, and assign them the really tough missions.

If/when genetic modification of humans does become practical, it might be able to improve strength and stamina (after lots of old-fashioned exercise), but soldiers will still need food and fuel.

It is known that the average human has a number of genetic defects that are linked to a shorter lifespan. If/when genetic modification becomes mainstream, the higher-risk mutations could be eliminated, resulting in a longer lifespan (barring accidents, war, food shortages, environmental degradation and widespread phobias about genetically modified humans).
 

Offline ScientificSorcerer

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Re: Is Immortality Possible?
« Reply #2 on: 17/04/2013 16:24:51 »
Indeed, but you can clearly see that genetic modification in the future could lead to immortality. As in no aging to death, am I wrong?  they have linked genetics to aging and therefor you could modify those genes right? they could make it to were you age slower if not at all.

Though this is a possibility for my children, it couldn't help me could it?  This genetic modification centers around off spring but not on an already living organism. How could you and me get immortal, could we be genetically modified?  I also think that there might actually be some secret potion or something that already gives immortality to the rich or those who know about it, what do you think of a possibility like that?
 

Offline evan_au

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Re: Is Immortality Possible?
« Reply #3 on: 17/04/2013 22:11:31 »
I doubt that there are any real immortality drugs today - but there are many groups working on it.

Aging is a normal process in most cells in your body - the telomeres wear out with every cell division, and the cell goes into old age after about 60 cell divisions. 

The number of mutations in each cell increases with every cell division, and as the number of mutations increases, the chance of that a cell becomes cancerous increases.  It only takes 1 cancerous cell to start a lethal cancer. That is why cancer is one of the leading killers in long-lived societies today - in previous centuries, people usually died of other causes before the number of mutations built up.

Before you could become immortal, you would need to cure cancer (and this is still a very difficult problem - but again, many teams are working on it).

For now, immortality is firmly in the domain of Religion & Science Fiction.
Some of these Science Fiction ideas include:
  • Computers might get powerful enough to upload a human mind, and the person lives on in a virtual world
  • Growing a new body for the person, and downloading their mind into this new body & brain
  • As you could imagine, there are many challenges to overcome before either of these becomes feasible.
Some of the Religious ideas include:
  • Unless we change human nature, it won't be worth living forever!
« Last Edit: 17/04/2013 22:51:50 by evan_au »
 

Offline CliffordK

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Re: Is Immortality Possible?
« Reply #4 on: 18/04/2013 00:12:01 »
Your links are interesting, the first talking about military bioengineering, and the second talking about perceived risks with bioengineering plants.

Certainly we can't have immortality without strict birth control.

There might be several methods for achieving longer lifespans.
  • Selective "breeding".  One could potentially select sperm & egg donors from families with centenarians.
    A few issues would include the delay, between the peak fertility period (and lowest spontaneous mutation incidence), and determining the maximum lifespan.  However, future genetic testing may help determine genes that would tend to shorten lifespans (cancer genes) that could naturally be selected against.  Unfortunately, there is also a strong desire to reproduce one's own genes so selective breeding is difficult in humans.
  • Nutrition.  A healthy lifestyle can't be underestimated.
  • Stopping Aging.  Like Evan mentioned, it may be a goal, but we are far from being able to halt the aging process
  • Growing new parts. 
    I'd estimate that within the next 50 years or so we'll see autologous donations and tissue reproduction to allow culturing new hearts, kidneys, livers, skin, bones, joints, muscle, nerves, and etc for a person.  In theory, one could rebuild pieces that break.  Issues, of course, include the expense, and brain senescence.  And, at some point, essentially the whole body starts shutting down.  Will there be a rich/poor divide?  I certainly wouldn't want to extend my life beyond the period where my brain is functional.
  • Computer "upload"?  Do I want to live as a bodyless mind?
  • Computer "download" into a new body?  Lots of ethical implications on that one...  but if one could just be a teenager again, of course, also keeping a lifetime worth of memories!!!!!

Of course, that all gets back to space.
If people don't die...  or die quickly enough, then we will see an extraordinary population growth, and a dire need to limit children.  But, if one limits children to less than 2 per couple, one ends up with an aging population that has issues too.  Even so, say each couple has their two children at age 20, then lives to a thousand, the global population would multiply several fold before becoming stable again.
 

Offline majorminor

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Re: Is Immortality Possible?
« Reply #5 on: 20/04/2013 00:59:28 »
Who wants to live forever? The depressed and the bored certainly don't  but for the ones who do, would give their fortunes away to stay alive. And the discoverer of such a secret could name his/her price for a taste of the 'elixir' . So if there was a discovery it would no doubt be kept quiet with the richest and powerful first on the list.  As people have mentioned , the population issue would mean everyone couldn't have the procedure to be immortal so the moral implications on who and why etc. Wars have been fought over less. I think life without mortality devalues the design or experience but that's being said from a guy who is not immortal(as far as I know cause I have not died so far in this dangerous world of many ways to die) and have not tasted what a massively extended existence maybe like when experienced. Give me 70 -90  healthy years and I will be happy. If I die before then I will pretend to myself that is fine too. Seems like to extend life the old fashioned way we have to forgo many things that make life worth living .

Live long and prosper.
 

Offline ScientificSorcerer

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Re: Is Immortality Possible?
« Reply #6 on: 20/04/2013 19:08:34 »
You guys mentioned replacing body parts overtime as the break, I saw an old movie onetime about brain transplants. If you could transplant your head or brain into a new fresh body your mind would be immortal though you would have someone else's body you would still have all of your memories and you would still be you if that makes any sense.

I also found out that brain/head transplants are possible and have been tested on monkeys. check out these dark, mad science links from the 70's
https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=fvwp&v=NJE7IRK7k7Y&NR=1

from what I can tell from this experiment is that the monkey's consensuses has survived on a new body. If given some mad scientists, some money and an unwilling host. You too could have your brain transplanted onto a young body,
but there is a problem with this, in that you would be paralyzed from the neck down because you have to sever the spine, which you cant reconnect. If in the future science can cure paraplegics then brain/head transplants would become practical.
 

Offline CliffordK

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Re: Is Immortality Possible?
« Reply #7 on: 20/04/2013 20:40:43 »
Peripheral nerves regrow.
Central nerves don't.

That is a hot topic of study. 

It is quite possible that in the future we would have the ability to recover after spinal damage. 

If one was to attempt a brain transplant, one would likely choose to transplant the brain, spinal cord, and some of the major nerves.

Of course there are issues of senescence and neural plasticity.  So, if one transplanted an octogenarian or centenarian brain into a teenage body, it may have a lot of knowledge, but have difficult learning new stuff.
 

Online Bored chemist

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Re: Is Immortality Possible?
« Reply #8 on: 21/04/2013 10:27:07 »
Individuals are not, in general, immortal. But species can get pretty close. Ask a crocodile or a magnolia.
So the closest thing you are likely to get to immortality is to have children, or to look after the interests of other people's children.
 

Offline distimpson

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Re: Is Immortality Possible?
« Reply #9 on: 21/04/2013 16:31:00 »
Interesting subject, all the talk of 3D printing/scanning lately has brought to mind an old scifi theme involved with teleportation, yes I'm talking beam me up Scotty. One scifi show that always comes to mind is “Think like a Dinosaur”, synopsis here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Think_Like_a_Dinosaur_(The_Outer_Limits)

The idea is that you scan a human, apparently a painful but non-destructive process and then “3D print” a copy of the human elsewhere. The equation is “balanced” by destroying the original. It would seem if such a system was possible you could print anytime or anywhere in the future, great for those 100,000 year long journeys to other star systems, assuming the printer and spacecraft would last that long. Other than incredible technical difficulties given our current stage of technological development, I do not see any fundamental physical laws to prevent this from happening-any thoughts on this statement? If Moore's law doesn't curve over soon it may not be long before we are working at atomic scales.

The idea of destroying the original seemed to be introduced to explore various ethical questions as scifi often does. From a practical point, I wouldn't want 10 copies of myself fighting over the checkbook but if they are stored information on the way to various star systems, bon voyage. It would be a funny type of immortality as each copy would be a distinct individual from the moment of printing. I can see an old version of myself trying to tell a younger version what to do but it wouldn't listen.

I'm guessing the printed copies would not care if the original was destroyed, can always print another. Might even be able to repair some defects the way we currently fix a scratch in an old photo. Wonder if HP will be making printers 10,000 years from now :-)
« Last Edit: 21/04/2013 20:52:49 by distimpson »
 

Offline ScientificSorcerer

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Re: Is Immortality Possible?
« Reply #10 on: 22/04/2013 21:03:04 »
I dont think that copying yourself is the same thing as immortality.  If you were to copy yourself then your copy would have a separate consciousness.  though it would look like you, know everything you know and behave in the same way, it would not be you.  That boarders on the line of cloning which brings me to my point. If you could clone yourself then transplant your brain into him you would virtually be a younger version of yourself, considering that clones have to grow up.  If you were 45 years old then you cloned yourself by the time your 65 your clone would be 20 then you could transplant your brain into his body.  I know clones exist for real they have done it with animals, the only thing you would have to do is find out a way to repair the spine nerves the presto! a younger you. same body and everything.
 

Offline CliffordK

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Re: Is Immortality Possible?
« Reply #11 on: 22/04/2013 23:35:04 »
Potentially if you could copy the body, you wouldn't have to be 100% identical.  For example, make the same brain connections, but use young cells.  The body you would replicate as you desired, but, say as a 20 yr old.  And why not enhance a few physical properties  ;)

So you would impart your mature (or perhaps newly deceased) consciousness onto a young body.  So, in a sense, you would be creating immortality. 
 

Offline ScientificSorcerer

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Re: Is Immortality Possible?
« Reply #12 on: 24/04/2013 01:36:48 »
I remember this movie I think it was called the Island. They grew clones of themselves but it was for organ transplants, the movie said that because the organ of the clone is exactly the same as yours, it will fuse to you better in some way, I think if someone gets a transplant from someone who is related to them, they usually get better. But if its from some random person you have to take all kinds of pills for the rest of your life.

If it were indeed a younger you then It would have the same principal effects as described in the movie. so a clone would probably be your best bet  for this logic of immortality.

also I heard of a scifi myth that may be true, which is you cant clone your self twise
because you cant make a clone from a clone if that makes sense. you might live twice as long but its not quite mortality, if that myth is true.
 

Offline CliffordK

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Re: Is Immortality Possible?
« Reply #13 on: 24/04/2013 02:23:42 »
Yes,
For most tissue donations, a close match is preferred.  Although, without an identical twin, to donate the organ, one still risks tissue rejection, and generally has to be on immune suppression medications for life.

The exception is bone marrow transplants for treatment of cancer.  Mild graft vs host disease is actually desirable, and helps reduce the cancer recurrence rate.

There are active experiments of growing human compatible organs in livestock such as pigs, and designing them not to be rejected by the human immune system.

I don't know about the multiple cloning.  I presume that is sci-fi.  So far many of the animal clones have had serious problems and did not live a full life.  If you have several trillion cells in your body, potentially the nuclei could be used to implant into a large number of egg cells.  The cells could then be frozen in early blastocyst stage, and one could have many first generation clones banked for later needs.  Blastocysts can also be split creating clones.  In fact, with in vetro fertilization, one could easily take a normal blastocyst, split it, and make several clone precursors that could then be banked for future needs.  And, these wouldn't even be a second generation, but rather would be the same primary generation as the infant.
« Last Edit: 24/04/2013 02:25:40 by CliffordK »
 

Offline ScientificSorcerer

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Re: Is Immortality Possible?
« Reply #14 on: 25/04/2013 16:45:22 »
so indeed cloning and brain transplants put together could make you immortal but maybe there are some other less invasive techniques for getting immortality in the sense of literally stopping the aging process,  such as Telomeres or something along along that line. A totally different logic for approaching the subject on living forever.
but it doesn't have to be based on Telomeres it could be like swapping souls or consciousness, I saw a movie ones about that.  Just any methodology/ideology you can think of for archiving the same thing.

But just one last thought on the subject of transplantation. If you saved the original brain for say 300 years going form clone body to clone body would the brain itself become too old?  would it's cells run out of divisions?  would the brain age still? and cause it to get too old and die.
 

Offline CliffordK

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Re: Is Immortality Possible?
« Reply #15 on: 25/04/2013 18:53:37 »
Neurons don't divide, but I'm not sure about glial cells.  However, in many cases the old brain is just not as adaptive as the young brain. 

I've had my grandparents get puzzled by simple tasks that they should have been able to do with their eyes closed.
 

Offline ScientificSorcerer

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Re: Is Immortality Possible?
« Reply #16 on: 28/04/2013 08:42:24 »
Clifford K, I think that we have come up with the perfect way to become immortal through mad science. But this link is getting pretty dry I just posted a new link on cosmic hyper speed in the astronomy section, Maybe we could start up a new thread Its pretty cool it also talks about my "solar storm cannon".
 

Offline menageriemanor

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Re: Is Immortality Possible?
« Reply #17 on: 02/05/2013 06:46:29 »
What strikes me, is some people are discussing creating a perfectly functioning human being, a viable entity, then removing it's functioning brain, to put in their own.  This living individual has their brain binned?  1st/2nd class humans? 

Then there is the situation of the powerful/wealthy who have the morality that is okay with creating an adult, mirror image of themselves, or perhaps, buying a physically more healthy or attractive version, and happy to remove it's brain,etc., to put in their own.  An immortal Rupert Murdoch type?  Immortal  High Tories, Tony Abbott, Gina Rinehart, et al. Immortal Dick Cheneys, et al. All able to renew indefinitely. Your dream, my nightmare.
 

Offline distimpson

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Re: Is Immortality Possible?
« Reply #18 on: 02/05/2013 22:47:25 »
You raise very good points menageriemanor, I assumed the discussion was "is it possible" not "lets do it". But please note CliffordK last comment, I agree that brains would age regardless of what body they are in, brains become senile, living tissue but not cognizant, hence no renewing Dick Cheney indefinitely, at least not in a form that would take over the world. If you doubt this just visit any nursing home, it is a real eye opener. I’d be more worried about cloning to provide replacement organs; somewhere I think a fellow traded his kidney for an ipad or something. As long as a society deifies wealth I’d say anything can happen.
« Last Edit: 02/05/2013 22:49:25 by distimpson »
 

Offline bizerl

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Re: Is Immortality Possible?
« Reply #19 on: 03/05/2013 03:42:08 »
If you took a long-term approach to extending life (albeit extremely long term), i've often wondered if restricting the minimum age for intial reproduction would result in evolution favouring longer living health.

What I mean is, if you were preventing from reproducing until say, 40, healthier 40 year olds would be favoured over those who suffer from "wear and tear" earlier. Over many generations, this could be gradually increased until we have a population of 90 year olds who are healthy enough to produce viable off-spring.
 

Offline majorminor

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Re: Is Immortality Possible?
« Reply #20 on: 03/05/2013 14:04:44 »
If you took a long-term approach to extending life (albeit extremely long term), i've often wondered if restricting the minimum age for intial reproduction would result in evolution favouring longer living health.

What I mean is, if you were preventing from reproducing until say, 40, healthier 40 year olds would be favoured over those who suffer from "wear and tear" earlier. Over many generations, this could be gradually increased until we have a population of 90 year olds who are healthy enough to produce viable off-spring.

Makes sense to me. Those genetically destined to die young, if there is such a thing , would not pass on their genes etc .  As a collective we cannot even wipe out poverty on a planet with massive resources nevermind  deprive ourselves for the sake of future generations. Would we want to live in a world where we tell people they are too genetically inferior to reproduce. I know this is just theoretical though.
 

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Re: Is Immortality Possible?
« Reply #20 on: 03/05/2013 14:04:44 »

 

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