The Post with No Title

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A little while back, I posted some random thoughts, including one bit on the stupidity of dying due to aging. In that post I said,

Intelligent Design? My ass. Next time someone tells you about “planned obsolescence” point them towards a “Skilled Nursing Facility”. GM has nothing on Mother Nature.

It seems that I might have been on to something. From the Los Angeles Times comes

Aging may be caused by renegade genes, worm study finds

Of the worms’ approximately 20,000 genes, 1,256 were regulated differently in young worms versus old worms. In particular, the aged worms had different levels of transcription factors, key genes that influence development by turning other genes on and off.

So, genetics may explain at least in part why we age. It might also explain why some people live longer, in some cases much longer, than others.

Men aren’t worms, at least most aren’t. Still, research like this is how new medical breakthroughs start. Once the scientists have a better understanding of how these genes work and how they can be manipulated, then research can start on higher forms of life. That will progress for several years and maybe, if we are really lucky, in several years a new drug or some gene manipulation technique will be developed that will allow us to live longer, more productive lives.

The down side is that if this works, I’ll continue to be Too Old to Work, Too Young to Retire.

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After a long career as a field EMS provider, I'm now doing all that back office stuff I used to laugh at. Life is full of ironies, isn't it? I still live in the Northeast corner of the United States, although I hope to change that to another part of the country more in tune with my values and beliefs. I still write about EMS, but I'm adding more and more non EMS subject matter. Thanks for visiting.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Apoptosis is the programmed obsolescence of cells. The problem is that the cells aren’t coordinated in their obsolescence, so you have brains, with advanced dementia, in healthy bodies and healthy brains in very sick bodies. If somebody forgot to lock a door, my grandmother would to go for a walk, but she had no idea where she was. She could walk forever.

  2. Which might be the key to the problem. If there is no systemic sense to aging, then there’s a chance that it can be corrected, or if you prefer, cured.

  3. An interesting idea. Ray Kurzweil suggests that we will be able to extend our lives by decades with nanotechnology. If we can hang around for about 20 years for the technology to be consistently useful.

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