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#121    Fitter

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Posted 10 October 2009 - 11:28 AM

View PostMattshark, on 09 October 2009 - 06:27 PM, said:

Cells have a limited number of reproduction all macrofauna. You stop this and you have a cancerous cells. Preventing aging is pure physical.

While it is a genetic clone, it is still a different tree. Same material is irrelevant.

If you don't like my answers that is your problem not mine. If you can't differentiate between age and death that is not my problem either.
Not the point... Isn't cancer "any malignant growth or tumor caused by abnormal and uncontrolled cell division" and not the normal replacement or division of cells that actually occurs in the body? That's what shutting off this gene would do; always supposing it were found to be both the case and possible.
This would then just allow the body to replace cells as "normal" and not in that abnormal and uncontrolled way, allowing the person to, shall we say, be alive longer, rather than "age" as you seem to have a problem with that word, but not necessarily die of old age.... Or cancer. You get it now ?

Btw, I don't dislike your answers, I just think they're rubbish... the tree would not be a clone, for example, as it would not be identical to the original. Someone who receives a transplant heart is not said to be a clone, but the donors family do say that they feel the donor is living on. So the question still stands, is the original tree still living on ?

..again, a physical question, not a psychological one.

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#122    Mattshark

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Posted 10 October 2009 - 12:00 PM

View PostFitter, on 10 October 2009 - 11:28 AM, said:

Not the point... Isn't cancer "any malignant growth or tumor caused by abnormal and uncontrolled cell division" and not the normal replacement or division of cells that actually occurs in the body? That's what shutting off this gene would do; always supposing it were found to be both the case and possible.
This would then just allow the body to replace cells as "normal" and not in that abnormal and uncontrolled way, allowing the person to, shall we say, be alive longer, rather than "age" as you seem to have a problem with that word, but not necessarily die of old age.... Or cancer. You get it now ?

Btw, I don't dislike your answers, I just think they're rubbish... the tree would not be a clone, for example, as it would not be identical to the original. Someone who receives a transplant heart is not said to be a clone, but the donors family do say that they feel the donor is living on. So the question still stands, is the original tree still living on ?

..again, a physical question, not a psychological one.

F

Yeah I get what you are saying, it is just wrong. Preventing ageing will not allow cells to reproduce infinitely. Our cells are not evolved to that. This is not my opinion, this is basic biology. Shutting of the gene will not allow the cell to reproduce for ever. That is complete rubbish

Yeah so you think clones would be the same? No, they are not, it is a different organism, genetically identical is not the same as it being the same tree. That is just how it is. It is FA do with psychology, this is how it is in biology.

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#123    Fitter

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Posted 10 October 2009 - 09:56 PM

So does anyone think that if there is such a gene, and it can be switched off, then such a "switching off" could have happened or would happen in nature either accidentally or as a genetic abnormality to produce a naturally born human with the trait of not suffering aging in the way that ordinary people do ?

It's said that a lot of what happens in nature can be replicated in the lab, why not nature replicating what happens in the lab ?

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#124    Mattshark

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Posted 11 October 2009 - 12:42 AM

View PostFitter, on 10 October 2009 - 09:56 PM, said:

So does anyone think that if there is such a gene, and it can be switched off, then such a "switching off" could have happened or would happen in nature either accidentally or as a genetic abnormality to produce a naturally born human with the trait of not suffering aging in the way that ordinary people do ?

It's said that a lot of what happens in nature can be replicated in the lab, why not nature replicating what happens in the lab ?

F

Because in a lab we can deliberately control gene expression. It is not possible for an organism to do this, organisms do not have direct control of their genome or their offspring's genome making it extremely unlikely that it would ever happen by random mutation.

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#125    tipsy_munchkin

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Posted 11 October 2009 - 08:23 AM

View PostFitter, on 10 October 2009 - 11:28 AM, said:

... the tree would not be a clone, for example, as it would not be identical to the original. Someone who receives a transplant heart is not said to be a clone, but the donors family do say that they feel the donor is living on. So the question still stands, is the original tree still living on ?

..again, a physical question, not a psychological one.

F

Of course it would be a genetic clone as it has the same exact genetic make up as the origonal. Thats pretty much the definition of a genetic clone. So it would be a new tree in the same way that if someone cloned you, the clone would not be YOU. It would be the same genes but a seperate person, much like an identical twin i guess. The reason the new tree would perhaps not look identical to the old would be that the environment wont reproduce the exact same conditions the first had. Climate, where its planted, will over time all effect which way it stretches its branches, when and for how long it has a growth spurt etc. Thats what i think anyways though i am no biology expert.

    

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#126    Fitter

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Posted 12 October 2009 - 09:08 AM

View Posttipsy_munchkin, on 11 October 2009 - 08:23 AM, said:

Of course it would be a genetic clone as it has the same exact genetic make up as the origonal. Thats pretty much the definition of a genetic clone. So it would be a new tree in the same way that if someone cloned you, the clone would not be YOU. It would be the same genes but a seperate person, much like an identical twin i guess. The reason the new tree would perhaps not look identical to the old would be that the environment wont reproduce the exact same conditions the first had. Climate, where its planted, will over time all effect which way it stretches its branches, when and for how long it has a growth spurt etc. Thats what i think anyways though i am no biology expert.

Yes, I follow you there. Ok, so it would be a genetic clone, but what of the material from the original tree that is now in the new tree ? If even part of the original material is still living, why can it not be said that the original tree still survives ?

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#127    Mattshark

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Posted 12 October 2009 - 10:11 AM

View PostFitter, on 12 October 2009 - 09:08 AM, said:

Yes, I follow you there. Ok, so it would be a genetic clone, but what of the material from the original tree that is now in the new tree ? If even part of the original material is still living, why can it not be said that the original tree still survives ?

F
Because it is separated from the original and undergoing its own development. It will have different factors affect it and will not be phyiscally identical because of this. The original tree remains the original tree, any daughter becomes a new tree.

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#128    Fitter

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Posted 12 October 2009 - 12:07 PM

View PostMattshark, on 12 October 2009 - 10:11 AM, said:

Because it is separated from the original and undergoing its own development. It will have different factors affect it and will not be phyiscally identical because of this. The original tree remains the original tree, any daughter becomes a new tree.

Maybe I'm being dim here, but I fail to see how the cutting being 'separated from and undergoing different development to,' the original tree suddenly make that physical material not part of the original ?? Do all the trees cells change as human cells do ? Is so, how does that account for tree rings ?

Clones aside, now.....

The first analogy that leaps to mind is a salvage part from a car... Of course, if you put the gearbox from a wreck into another car then it's not a new car, its the second repaired one with an old gearbox in it. But you can point at the gearbox and say, "That's an old gearbox!" Can you not in the same way point to the oldest part of the new tree and say "That part's the original cutting?"

With a transplant heart, the heart continues to grow after transplantation, but at what stage does it become not a donor heart but an original part of the patient ? At what stage can it no longer be pointed at and identified as an unoriginal addition ?

Or is it simply a case of plants being such relatively simple constructs that vegetable cells can hold all the necessary genetic coding for the whole plant whereas human DNA is so complex that cells cannot hold all the information necessary to grow a complete human ?

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#129    Mattshark

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Posted 12 October 2009 - 12:15 PM

View PostFitter, on 12 October 2009 - 12:07 PM, said:

Maybe I'm being dim here, but I fail to see how the cutting being 'separated from and undergoing different development to,' the original tree suddenly make that physical material not part of the original ?? Do all the trees cells change as human cells do ? Is so, how does that account for tree rings ?

Clones aside, now.....

The first analogy that leaps to mind is a salvage part from a car... Of course, if you put the gearbox from a wreck into another car then it's not a new car, its the second repaired one with an old gearbox in it. But you can point at the gearbox and say, "That's an old gearbox!" Can you not in the same way point to the oldest part of the new tree and say "That part's the original cutting?"

With a transplant heart, the heart continues to grow after transplantation, but at what stage does it become not a donor heart but an original part of the patient ? At what stage can it no longer be pointed at and identified as an unoriginal addition ?

Or is it simply a case of plants being such relatively simple constructs that vegetable cells can hold all the necessary genetic coding for the whole plant whereas human DNA is so complex that cells cannot hold all the information necessary to grow a complete human ?

F

With the tree this is a form of reproduction, the daughter is an offspring of the original. The original tree is still there, there is now a offspring of it so it is another individual organism. It is not the same as taking a component and adding it to something else, you are taking part of it and generating another individual out of it. If you take a car, scrap it and recycle it to make a new car, it is not the same car.

Plants can be quite complex actually and no less genetically complex as us. Our cells can hold all our DNA (red blood cells excepted but that is different), we have no system to reproduce in that manner though.

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#130    tipsy_munchkin

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Posted 12 October 2009 - 12:25 PM

View PostFitter, on 12 October 2009 - 12:07 PM, said:

Maybe I'm being dim here, but I fail to see how the cutting being 'separated from and undergoing different development to,' the original tree suddenly make that physical material not part of the original ?? Do all the trees cells change as human cells do ? Is so, how does that account for tree rings ?

Clones aside, now.....

The first analogy that leaps to mind is a salvage part from a car... Of course, if you put the gearbox from a wreck into another car then it's not a new car, its the second repaired one with an old gearbox in it. But you can point at the gearbox and say, "That's an old gearbox!" Can you not in the same way point to the oldest part of the new tree and say "That part's the original cutting?"

With a transplant heart, the heart continues to grow after transplantation, but at what stage does it become not a donor heart but an original part of the patient ? At what stage can it no longer be pointed at and identified as an unoriginal addition ?

Or is it simply a case of plants being such relatively simple constructs that vegetable cells can hold all the necessary genetic coding for the whole plant whereas human DNA is so complex that cells cannot hold all the information necessary to grow a complete human ?

F

Im just curious where you are intending to go with this in relation to the OP and immortality. Even if you take the claim a part of someone is living on when their organs are used, the individual is not living on. Plus this organ will not last forever so how does it come back to being immortal?

I also agree with Matt that one organ or spare part does not equate to a tree cutting. The tree is an entire living specimen that can go ahead and survive on its own and eventually reproduce . The heart or spare part is useless unless included into a new person or vehicle.

Edited by tipsy_munchkin, 12 October 2009 - 12:27 PM.

    

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#131    MysticOnion

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Posted 12 October 2009 - 01:25 PM

I suffer from the common genetic abnormality known as psoriasis.  In my case my skin cells reproduce too quickly causing a red itchy rash that covers most of my body - its very painful.  This activity - growth happening where it shouldn't, is exactly what happens with cancer, growth happens where it shouldn't.  Apparently my condition is not as serious as cancer. I have other side effects - my hair and nails also grow at an accellerated rate. Things that work for cancer, work for psoriasis - Methotrexate for example, a form of chemotherapy, can give me clear skin but really slow me down and cause other damage.

I would be a willing guinea pig for Aubrey De Grey's rejuvination medicines, as I think not only would it cure cancer, but it would cure my condition and keep me in good condition for a long time.  His idea is that every so often you would have your cells renewed, the old ones taken away through various means and replaced with new cells.  You might be able to live for a very very very long time.

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#132    Fitter

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Posted 13 October 2009 - 09:19 AM

View Posttipsy_munchkin, on 12 October 2009 - 12:25 PM, said:

Im just curious where you are intending to go with this in relation to the OP and immortality. Even if you take the claim a part of someone is living on when their organs are used, the individual is not living on. Plus this organ will not last forever so how does it come back to being immortal?

I also agree with Matt that one organ or spare part does not equate to a tree cutting. The tree is an entire living specimen that can go ahead and survive on its own and eventually reproduce . The heart or spare part is useless unless included into a new person or vehicle.

Well, what basically started off as a set of philosophical questions has for me turned into an actual learning curve. I admit that I don't know an awful lot about biology... human or plant. Genetics is another subject that I apparently owe most of my knowledge to Hollywood for; my understanding of a clone is not now what it was; so even though they say a little knowledge is a dangerous thing I have pressed my questions along a more, shall we say, diverse route, to try to get not just the questions I wanted answered, answered, but also those questions answered in the way I wanted them answered.

For me, it's not enough to be told "Well, you just can't."

The concept I'm trying to grasp is the one I first started on. The possibility of a human gene or group of genes being responsible for aging, and the result of such a gene groups switch being thrown. This is currently being investigated by Dr. Walker at the University of South Florida CoM. A report of whose I read in the New Scientist last July stating that his subject appears to be a normal 3 year old, but is in fact 16 years old and has never been diagnosed with any known genetic syndrome or chromosomal abnormality that would explain her appearance... I was looking for parallels in the botanical world, as I thought it much more likely that vegetable matter would have yielded real results in this field than human and so have been discussed in this forum before...Someone may have some links to further reading for me. (Yes, I was cheating !!)
If it could be shown that vegetable matter could be considered immortal by a simple process of cutting and transplanting, or by genetic manipulation, then medical science could in theory perform the same feat with human material.. (Hopefully, the breast cancer gene is on the verge of being checked NRG1 Dr. Edwards, University of Cambridge) Seeing as it has finally been pointed out that there is no intrinsic difference between human and vegetable cells; at least none that cannot in theory be overcome in the lab; I am open to being shown how this effect cannot be transferred to humans... Much harder to prove a negative !!

I agree wholly that 'clones' are different organisms to their originals, but the donor material is still in existence within the working, living part of the recipient. Presumably, it will then proceed to act as 'normal' tissue' and replicate and grow and age...at which point, it will cease to be identifiable as donor material. An artificial control at this point may alter that stage. I am thus, still to be convinced that geneticists will be unable one day to isolate and educate the specific human gene group to perform as required and control even the collagen that gives the most outward appearance of aging.

Then it is a simple step to show if it can be done in the lab, it may have occurred naturally.

Possibly a pipe dream, possibly fantasy, possibly possible..

F

Edited by Fitter, 13 October 2009 - 09:39 AM.


#133    tipsy_munchkin

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Posted 13 October 2009 - 07:38 PM

View PostFitter, on 13 October 2009 - 09:19 AM, said:

Well, what basically started off as a set of philosophical questions has for me turned into an actual learning curve. I admit that I don't know an awful lot about biology... human or plant. ...........................................
<snip>
Then it is a simple step to show if it can be done in the lab, it may have occurred naturally.

Possibly a pipe dream, possibly fantasy, possibly possible..

F

Thanks for clarifying that for me. I'm no expert in biology either so as to the details of current experiments in gene therapy I'll leve comments to those with better knowledge. I can see that your leading towards the 'can science one day alter us to not age.' I think where the confusion is, is that to me for someone to be truely immortal their awareness of self, personality and memories etc would have to survive so any clone or transplant would not fulfill this. I think i get now that you are pursuing this line as something you believe could lead to advances that would make that possible rather than stating that such is immortality in itself? As i said i cant go into this in much detail as I am lacking the detailed knowledge of if or how gene therapy could alter the aging process or lifespans (which we must remember is two different concepts, aging can be altered without length being added)
To me a part of me survivng without awareness of 'me' is not me. Its all the little signals and chemicals doing their thing in my brain that make me, me and once that stops working I would say I am dead and gone even if my physical body were still in some way alive.

EDIT: TO snip quote as it seemed silly to have such a long one in full directly after the origonal.

Edited by tipsy_munchkin, 13 October 2009 - 07:40 PM.

    

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#134    Fitter

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Posted 14 October 2009 - 08:28 AM

View Posttipsy_munchkin, on 13 October 2009 - 07:38 PM, said:

Thanks for clarifying that for me. I'm no expert in biology either so as to the details of current experiments in gene therapy I'll leve comments to those with better knowledge. I can see that your leading towards the 'can science one day alter us to not age.' I think where the confusion is, is that to me for someone to be truely immortal their awareness of self, personality and memories etc would have to survive so any clone or transplant would not fulfill this. I think i get now that you are pursuing this line as something you believe could lead to advances that would make that possible rather than stating that such is immortality in itself? As i said i cant go into this in much detail as I am lacking the detailed knowledge of if or how gene therapy could alter the aging process or lifespans (which we must remember is two different concepts, aging can be altered without length being added)
To me a part of me survivng without awareness of 'me' is not me. Its all the little signals and chemicals doing their thing in my brain that make me, me and once that stops working I would say I am dead and gone even if my physical body were still in some way alive.

EDIT: TO snip quote as it seemed silly to have such a long one in full directly after the origonal.

No, I don't think cloning is the answer. Cloning was just raised by someone else as a way of rebuking my suggestion that cuttings from a plant live on and age in a recipient. I agree on what a clone is, but continued to use the clone suggestion as a side route to answering a philosophical question.... what constitutes survival ? What if the cutting were the brain/spinal column ?
I don't see the similarity of re-booting a cells replacement ability to a cancer.... one is re-establishing a trait once there, now gone, the second is an uncontrolled new state.

I believe that geneticists and doctors (maybe even those ones working today) will eventually discover a way to harness the counter-productive habit of the 'aging genes' which work as nature intended to give cells a limited replacement ability. They will be able to alter the genes to allow continued cell replacement, thus giving unlimited replacement capacity.

Now the important point.... If it can be done artificially, it may have already happened naturally. There could be people alive now who were born with a specific genetic abnormality the same as the one the scientists are currently trying to design.

Just leaves the question would they wear black leather or yellow Spandex...?

F

Edited by Fitter, 14 October 2009 - 08:30 AM.


#135    tipsy_munchkin

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Posted 14 October 2009 - 12:52 PM

Lets hope black leather. Spandex belongs in the 80's even for a super hero  :rofl:

    

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