Poll: Do you believe there can be a cure to death?
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Cure for death?
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06-12-2010, 01:29 PM
 
RE: Cure for death?
(05-12-2010 07:39 PM)AshleyApathy Wrote:  Thanks for the feed back everyone. But question for TruthAddict.. Are you saying, once someone has a baby, their body stops treating them the way it did before hand? So it's a negative thing?? Because your whole reproduction talk through me off. haha.

I don't think the effect is as immediate as that. With modern medical science obviously this does not happen anymore.

However, the primary purpose of an organism is to pass its genome onto the next generation. From this is derived the instinct of self-preservation and reproduction. Self-preservation only takes precedence until the organism (and this isn't always the case, just a sweeping generalization) has carried out the process of reproduction and child bearing process (if that particular species cares for its children). Once an organism has fulfilled its purpose of passing its genome on, resources are no longer devoted towards the upkeep of the organism and it dies eventually. A lot of insects die this way. This is perceived as "aging."

It also has to do with different survival strategies. Insects and other simple organisms have a survival strategy involving short life spans and large number of organisms. More complex mammals adopt a strategy of a longer life with multiple mating cycles with fewer offspring each cycle, and usually an extended child rearing stage. This is why "immediately having a baby" won't mean much since humans, like other mammals, are technically supposed to mate every year or few years from the age of sexual maturation to sexual infertility.

The natural life span of humans, without any technology or medical science, is basically around thirty years. There is no particular reason why our bodies can't keep repairing ourselves indefinitely as long as they have access to sufficient energy (and even the issue of telomeres can be dealt with the enzyme telemorase). However, they do not, because life could not be where it is today without evolution. Evolution requires that there be successive generations so that mutations can be selected for. So, mortality is necessary, and almost favored in competition.

It is simply an explanation for why we have to die and age. Infer nothing from it like you did. Modern medical science has extended our lifetimes far beyond our natural capabilities and will continue to do so. Also I am not a biologist, so I am simply drawing from what I have read.
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06-12-2010, 03:40 PM
 
RE: Cure for death?
I feel if we pool knowledge we could help extend the lifespan... but first i would like to see us populate other planets before we start trying to over crowd this one more.
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12-01-2011, 06:56 AM
 
RE: Cure for death?
Here is an interesting thought. Imagine we are able to stop/reverse aging and become nearly immortal physically. If the average became 1000 years old.

How long would it be before you forget (lose touch) with your parents, siblings, etc. After 200 years would they just be another face on the street?

If you did in fact have a long relationship with someone, say a couple hundred years, and then that person gets run over by a bus and it crushes their skull, wouldn't that be DEVASTATING compared to dealing with death over a 50-70year span?

I do believe that our mind grows over our lives (I feel much older than someone who is 17, I'm 27, physically we are not all that different), does our mind really catch up with our bodies when we get in our 60s/70s/80s+? If we could physically stop aging at 25, what would our minds really be like at 180, assuming our brain cells do not degenerate and Alzheimer/dementia/other mental illnesses do not happen?

I can't speculate about the topic of being able to to aging, I am not a scientist. But I do like wondering about what would happen to the mind over the course of hundreds of years.
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12-01-2011, 07:55 AM
 
RE: Cure for death?
Well, memory loss is the result of the degradation of brain cells, and since stopping aging would theoretically stop the degradation of all cells in the body, I don't think we would suffer memory loss.

However, that also brings up the point as to the fact that we can only hold a finite amount of information (even though it doesn't seem like it). I can forget things at age 15, and I sure as hell hope it isn't Alzheimer's disease. Normally, I don't forget people that are close to me (except friends of my early childhood, but memory loss of early childhood is common). But, you do raise a good question.

I think the question would also be whether we maintain the same relationships indefinitely, or would we get bored and move on to a new "family" every few decades. The hardships would certainly accumulate, as we would have to move on over and over again as more and more people die.
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12-01-2011, 03:54 PM
RE: Cure for death?
http://www.nature.com/news/2010/101128/f...0.635.html

An article about protecting DNA from degradation.
Aging could be potentially reversed.
Problem is you are more susceptible to cancer - so once we cure cancer , we live forever.
To quote AC/DC - "Forget the hearse cause I'll never die !"
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12-01-2011, 04:19 PM
RE: Cure for death?
Some of you should read this book:
It's about a man who lives for 2,000 years.
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“Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.” ~ Gautama Buddha
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12-01-2011, 04:48 PM
 
RE: Cure for death?
(12-01-2011 03:54 PM)gaglamesh731 Wrote:  http://www.nature.com/news/2010/101128/f...0.635.html

An article about protecting DNA from degradation.
Aging could be potentially reversed.
Problem is you are more susceptible to cancer - so once we cure cancer , we live forever.
To quote AC/DC - "Forget the hearse cause I'll never die !"

I don't think it's possible. There won't be a cure for cancer, since there are so many different causes for it. And since one of the characteristics of cancer cells is that they have activated telomerase and are basically immortal, activating telomerase in a human body will turn it into a cluster of cancer cells if the smallest thing goes wrong. Another cause of cancer is increased cell proliferation (as an example, that's why smokers are more likely to develop cancer. Smoking damages lung cells, which increases cell division as the body tried to fix the damage.. over time, a single cell can mutate and result in cancer). Some studies have shown that the proportion of cancer increased in certain populations over the past few decades is related to the fact that we're just living longer.

It seems if we can live forever, we'll end up having to battle cancer and diseases forever. Undecided
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12-01-2011, 06:58 PM
 
RE: Cure for death?
(12-01-2011 07:55 AM)TruthAddict Wrote:  Well, memory loss is the result of the degradation of brain cells, and since stopping aging would theoretically stop the degradation of all cells in the body, I don't think we would suffer memory loss.

However, that also brings up the point as to the fact that we can only hold a finite amount of information (even though it doesn't seem like it). I can forget things at age 15, and I sure as hell hope it isn't Alzheimer's disease. Normally, I don't forget people that are close to me (except friends of my early childhood, but memory loss of early childhood is common). But, you do raise a good question.

I think the question would also be whether we maintain the same relationships indefinitely, or would we get bored and move on to a new "family" every few decades. The hardships would certainly accumulate, as we would have to move on over and over again as more and more people die.

Yes, I meant it as "getting bored" and moving on, not that we would necessarily forget due to brain degeneration. I have quite a few friends that I have "moved on" from since highschool, since getting married, etc.

As for the amount of information our brain can hold... go on youtube and search for the 60 minutes special "Superior Autobiographical Memory", only 6 people in the world known to have it.
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13-01-2011, 12:16 AM
RE: Cure for death?
(12-01-2011 04:48 PM)mBear Wrote:  It seems if we can live forever, we'll end up having to battle cancer and diseases forever. Undecided

I saw a documentary a while back that mentioned sharks had a high resistance to cancer.
Unfortunately the only source to back me up right now is an article from ReefQuest - a center dedicated to shark conservation.
Quote: While it is not true that sharks do not develop cancer, they do have a remarkable cancer shield. Of the thousands of fish tumors in the collections of the Smithsonian Institution, only about 15 are from elasmobranchs (The Smithsonian is an amazing place - where else can one go to see thousands of fish tumors?), and only two of these are thought to have been malignant.
I know this isn't a reliable source , I'll have to do a LOT more research.
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13-01-2011, 10:27 PM
 
RE: Cure for death?
That's really interesting!! I did some research on the subject, and it seemed like in the 1980's-1990's, people started selling Shark Cartilage pills claiming it cures cancer. But there isn't any evidence that shows that it could be used to stop or cure human cancer. (By the way, you gave me an idea for a possible essay topic for my Chordates class, so thank you Big Grin)
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