Nov 292010
 

From The Guardian:

Short form: Harvard scientists managed to turn old (genetically engineered) mice into young mice by injecting them with enzmes that tinkered with their telomeres (sort of the “best if used by” dates on the end of DNA chains).

A few things:

  1. The mice used were modified specifically to have messed-up telomeres in the first place.
  2. This same trick in humans might cause cancer.
  3. If it does work in humans, will people demand it as part of their free health care?
  4. Will people still demand to retire by 65 and be taken care of for the rest of their lives by the few remaining younger workers?

Sure, sounds great… but there are some minor issues. Not least of them are the prospects of destroying civilization utterly in a massive economic collapse coupled with a generational war.

Plus…

Harvard scientists?

Hmmm…

 Posted by at 11:36 am
  • Kelly Starks

    1- The mice were modified to replicate human norms that seem to cause aging in humans.

    2- Cancer’s more of a issue.

    3- Not only will folks demand it – insurance will likely arm twist folks to get it so they avoid expensive diseases.

    4- Irrelevant since socials security is already dead meat regardless.

  • peterh

    Socialist security is already insolvent. dramatic life extension would just make the existing problem more acute. A partial remedy is to insist that if you want the gooberment to pay for advanced life extension like this you opt out of socialist security benefits.

  • admin

    My preference for when someone comes upwitha really effective “eternal youth” serum: make it available for free. To anyone and everyone. All they need to do is show up and get the shot.

    Caveats:
    1) The shots are being distrubuted on the Space Station (later the Moon, Mars, Asteroids, Kuiper Belt, etc).
    2) Those who get the treatment are *never* allowed to return to Earth again. Trained assassins stand by to unload painful death on any “immortal” who attempts to return to Earth.

    Do it this way, and Earth doesn’t get overpopulated, people get to live forever, and we’ll finally see some real money and effort put into a real space program. Sure, at least initially only the rich will be able to live forever; the poor can’t make it to space. But the fact that the super rich will be *gone* should help mitigate the otherwise inevitable social unrest. Plus, the super rich will be followed by the rich, followed by the well-off.