April 6, 2001
9:44 AM   Subscribe

Scientists discover secrets behind aging process raising the possibility that hormonal therapy could add decades to the human life span. While I'm generally environmentally aware and concerned about overpopulation, all I can think is - sign me up!
posted by quirked (19 comments total)

 
Scientists studying fruit flies at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, and University College London found that manipulating genes relating to insulin-like hormones greatly extended the insects' life span. Some of the flies lived up to 85 percent longer than usual. But the longer-living flies all were dwarfs.

Sweet. A planet full of 200-year-old dwarfs.
posted by starvingartist at 9:46 AM on April 6, 2001


The experiment yielded dwarf females with life spans extended by up to 85 percent. Dwarf males also were produced, but they were frail and most died within 20 days.

Check that. A planet full of 200-year-old female dwarfs.
posted by starvingartist at 9:49 AM on April 6, 2001


And to top it all off, towards the end of the article they reference a gene in fruit flies called "chico". Maybe there's a business opportunity here? Buy a fruit fly gene and name it after yourself or a loved one! I've got dibs on "LoveGod"!
posted by starvingartist at 9:51 AM on April 6, 2001


quirked, I feel your contradiction slightly differently. I don't mind dying when my time's up, but I don't want my wife to die. Or my friends.

Of course, making a normative assessment of when people ought to die is a tricky issue. A few hundred years ago, very few people lived past 50. Do vaccination, refrigeration, nutritional supplements and preventive health care "artificially" extend our life spans?
posted by argybarg at 10:01 AM on April 6, 2001


I'm not good with science stuff. Do I have to have swex with flies and must they be fruit flies?
posted by Postroad at 10:06 AM on April 6, 2001


I have just heard of this, I guess I don't follow on all the medical scientists. When I did I had this 'halleluiah music light up, and me going 'Finally! This is what science is used for! Great! I'd want to sign up'. It faded a bit after, there's still way too much to go into here, I guess we'd be lucky to have the technology in 40-50 years, so, until then, try to stay alive.

As far as religion goes I guess I can see some people being pissed, especially those from the pro-life movement. I don't know this for sure, but can imagine. I choose not to believe in god because of such findings, that, somehow science will make me immortal, it's what I desire most I guess. 40 years more will make a great deal of difference, you would be able to do so many, things. Immortality is a funny thing, because I guess your brain is small, when you're 30-40, it functions pretty well, but you tend to forget the memories of when you were 12 or 16, what would happen when you're 200? Will you forget when you were 40? Or if you were immortal, and you've lived a thousand years, how would you be able to remember it all? I guess you'd have to let go some of memories and just keep a long diary. heh.

Anyway, let's see, in 30 years, we'd get treatment that would slow down the aging process, wait for another 30 years and get robotic implants, another 30 years, get my brain transplanted into a robotic body, 50 years, my brain is translated into software, I die. Software takes over.
posted by tiaka at 10:08 AM on April 6, 2001


tiaka: take it from me, a muich older guy: forgetting most of one's life is a great gift. Memory sucks.
posted by Postroad at 10:25 AM on April 6, 2001


tiaka: read the book "Return From The Stars," by Stanislaw Lem.
posted by skwm at 11:15 AM on April 6, 2001


So many yearn for immortality who have no idea what to do with themselves on a lazy Sunday afternoon.
posted by bradlands at 12:36 PM on April 6, 2001


Of course, making a normative assessment of when people ought to die is a tricky issue.

Note to self: Pick up Logan's Run from the video store tonight...
posted by fooljay at 1:46 PM on April 6, 2001


I think that if life-extension technology really takes off and we can all live for 300 or 500 years, there would be a much much higher demand for assisted suicide. Surely some people would get really tired of it all after a couple hundred years of the same old crap.
posted by daveadams at 2:40 PM on April 6, 2001


...some of us get pretty damn tired of it in less than a tenth of that time...
posted by aramaic at 2:45 PM on April 6, 2001


"As far as religion goes I guess I can see some people being pissed, especially those from the pro-life movement. "

I find it humorous and ironic that a pro-lifer would be pissed about the extension of life. :-)
posted by fooljay at 3:40 PM on April 6, 2001


Reminds me of the INDY ("I'm Not Dead Yet," a line from Monty Python) gene. My floormate's ex-girlfriend's brother is one of the people who conducted the research.

And isn't that supposed to be "Millions long for immortality who do not know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon?"
posted by gleemax at 3:54 PM on April 7, 2001


Completely OT:

How long will this misperception continue? In that scene from Monty Python and the Holy Grail, they never say the word "yet". This really shouldn't bother me, should it?
posted by Aaaugh! at 8:18 PM on April 7, 2001


My floormate's ex-girlfriend's brother

Ha, I completely believe you, but that sounds so made up. ;)
posted by daveadams at 9:29 PM on April 7, 2001


It's true! It in no way proves it, but my friend has a web page.
posted by gleemax at 2:00 AM on April 8, 2001


Oops.
posted by gleemax at 5:09 PM on April 8, 2001


Why can't the earth and life be like we thought it was back when we were 3.. No one dies and the earth is a plan that doesn't stop.. =)
posted by ellis at 3:01 AM on April 9, 2001


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