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Want to live another 40 years?
April 7, 2001 - April 27, 2001

Want to live another 40 years?  katedirect
(39/F/California)  4/7/01 12:12 am

Think about it? Would you say no? Why?

Thursday April 5 4:11 PM ET

Scientists Discover Secrets Behind Aging Process

By Will Dunham

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A common hormone-based mechanism seems to regulate the aging process in a variety of organisms, scientists said on Thursday in a finding that raises the possibility that hormonal therapy could add decades to the human life span.

Three studies appearing in the journal Science show that the insulin-signaling pathway, already known to regulate aging in roundworms, serves the same function in fruit flies and the simple life form yeast.

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.

Similar work by University of Southern California experts produced up to a three-fold increase in yeast life span.

Marc Tatar, who led the Brown team, said insulin-like compounds control aging in flies, worms and probably humans either by retarding growth or by activating specific endocrine tissue to release other hormones.

Tatar said no one knows which brain signals or external environmental signals turn on the human aging mechanism.


He said the findings hint at the possibility in the future of employing a type of hormonal treatment to extend the life span of people. ``I can see it,'' Tatar said.

He said experiments involving mice suggested that about 40 healthy years could be added to the human life span.

Re: Want to live another 40 years?  masahiro_morioka
(42/M/Japan)  4/7/01 12:40 pm

>Thanks katedirect

The report also said;

>But the longer-living flies all were dwarfs

Hmmm... Anyway, Scientists around the world are researching the aging process. They will be sure to find some crucial keys to human aging. But the problem is that we do not know the inner world of persons who live extra 40 years. They may be sleeping, or sitting still every day to avoid exhaustion of their cells....

So, it depends on their quality of life.

Another problem is that if we can prolong our life artificially, death will be more fearful thing to us. Some people would feel sad that they die at the age of 80....

Re: Want to live another 40 years?  JohnRawls
(31/M/Sweden)  4/7/01 6:14 pm

Interesting since a Jehovas Whitnesses asked me the same question the other day at my doorstep. I answered that it sure depends on the quality of life my last years. ( Then I understood that he was a Jehova and ment living after death :) - I didnt join).. But sure in general Id say that a longer life is better then a shorter everything else beeing equal. But ofcourse not in those cases where you suffer from a none treatable sickness that causes you constant pain judging you to a life worse then death. Mayby if I lived a life in prison I wouldnt want my life all of a sudden to be extended with 40 years.

The meening of life ought to be some kind of function where quality of life and quantity of life are involved. Also included are wishes fullfillment and inner felt happiness.

As we all know the answer to that function is 42 (according to Adams)its just a matter of setting the function up correctly.

Long-living dwarfs  woebagger
(M/, Miami, FL)  4/7/01 8:55 pm

or is that dwarves? I am reminded of the Vonegut novel in whichnthe Chinese, unable to limit the growth of the population, deliberately breed themselves to be smaller. They become a disease as they reach the size of germs, and cause a flu as they pass through the virus phase.

I think exeercise has to be good for all organisms, so sitting around is probably not what the longest living would be doing.

Re: Want to live another 40 years?  masahiro_morioka
(42/M/Japan)  4/8/01 4:47 am

Today, life expectancy of the Japanese is 70+ years, but it was 40+ years or so 100 years ago. But people 100 years ago were unhappier than us? Never. Living long does not mean living a happy life.... This may be a crucial point, isn't it?

Re: Want to live another 40 years?  JohnRawls
(31/M/Sweden)  4/8/01 8:03 am

Of course they where unhappier before when they lived 30 years shorter if you add up all inner felt happiness under one lifetime. Otherwise they would have had to have lived a much richer life under the shorter time that they lived and that doesnt seem very realistic does it?

Im not saying that they where unhappier while they lived but the fact that they lived shorter lives ought, in general, to end up in a lower total sum of happiness felt if one compares between two lifetimes.

Re: Want to live another 40 years?  katedirect
(39/F/California)  4/9/01 12:02 am

Masa stated, "Another problem is that if we can prolong our life artificially, death will be more fearful thing to us. Some people would feel sad that they die at the age of 80...."

Excellent point. Even so, as Rawls points out, we can surmise that - generally speaking, of course - more *living* was crammed into a shorter life-span in earlier eras. But aren't the expectations of a culture/society, part of what determines individual happiness? History is full of admirable men who were miserable in their lifetimes, and sociopaths who seem to have been happy as clams. Facing life as true individuals is not always as attractive as we would make it appear to be.

Re: Want to live another 40 years?  masahiro_morioka
(42/M/Japan)  4/15/01 7:08 pm

I wonder if people really want to live another 400000 years without aging? In this case they can only die when they commit suicide. I prefer that there is some upper limit to human life time. What do you think?

Re: Want to live another 40 years?  JohnRawls
(31/M/Sweden)  4/16/01 7:19 am

Well if you served a lifetime in prison it might not be that fun to get to be 400 000 years old but its better then beeing dead I presume.

Mayby it comes down to religion... If you belive that you will be rewarded in heaven after you have died then there seems to be no reason to live to long. But if you belive thet death is the ultimate end where you only becomes mud in the ground then there are many reasons for wanting to get older since living beats the crap out of beeing dirt.

So lets do like this: let all the religious people die of natural causes and go to meet their maker and let all the none religious people live to be 400 000 years if they want to.. OK ?
(That must be the most humane thing to do out of a religious perspective aswell since according to many big religions the none belivers are waiting a lifetime in hell after death anyway)

Re: Want to live another 40 years?  katedirect
(39/F/California)  4/16/01 11:17 pm

This is one of those ethical questions where the theoretical and romantic notions fly out the window when opportunity knocks, I suppose.

The fact is, many people who can afford to do so (not only afford monetarily but in other ways) already subject themselves to pain in order to look younger. If living longer would ALSO mean looking younger - better yet, feeling younger - we can guess that the lines of applicants for a sip from the Fountain of Youth would extend for miles in every city in the world.

Feeling younger, however, and looking younger are very different concepts. If I could swallow a pill and have a better memory and youthful energy, without side effects, there would be no hesitation on my part. Would I also like to look younger? Sure, but more energy and glowing health might create that impression without a dollop of Look Younger Now. However, my own choice would not include a desire to resemble a teenager or to fool anyone - although I guarantee that many people would go for that option, no matter what they say.

To boot, as long as "age-reversal" advances are done in increments, there will be widespread social acceptance for the extended average life-span, at least in certain privileged segments of society. That's the key - and it's the best way to make a buck, as well, since your customer must keep coming back, whether it's for an improved version, an update, a new dose, a new injection or a new nip and tuck. No one wants to live for 40k, but if you add another year or two to the average life-span here and there: hey, who's going to argue, when it's their turn?

My desires are one thing; recognizing what most other people want is another.

Thanks, Masa, woebagger,
from Kate


Re: Want to live another 40 years?  katedirect
(39/F/California)  4/16/01 11:18 pm

Rawls wrote, "Well if you served a lifetime in prison it might not be that fun to get to be 400 000 years old but its better then beeing dead I presume."

Well, we could always argue the *finer points*!


Re: Want to live another 40 years?  JohnRawls
(31/M/Sweden)  4/22/01 7:45 am

How would you live your life then if you knew that you were to become atleast 400 000 years old ? Any diffrent from today? More long term investments? :) Mayby id first plant some oaks and after a cupple of hundred years id cut them down and sink them into the water - producing "black oak" then later id sell it for a profit :)..

Id try to have a bunch of diffrent educations...


Live long and prosper!  woebagger
(M/, Miami, FL)  4/22/01 5:05 pm

In Robert Heinlein's novels there is a family of extremely longlived, secretive people, the patriarch of which is Lazarus Long. Their parents and grandparents genetically engineered them to not age, and realizing that they would eventually become immensely wealthy off their investments, kept it all a huge secret. They mostly lived in remore areas and claimed to be their own grandchildren and great-grandchildren, since the correctly perceived that they would be envied and government would try to legislate them out of their fortunes, genes, or both.

Have any of you ever heard of a mysterious figure called Le Compte de Saint-Germain? He was said to be a Frenchman who lived for over 300 years from the 1500's until he disapprered in the 1800's.

Re: Want to live another 40 years?  masahiro_morioka
(42/M/Japan)  4/24/01 9:42 am

Even if I could live another 400,000 years, probably I would have memories of 200 years range from the time of living, so I would have no memories before "200 years past". If I see photos of mine taken 30,000 years ago, I could never remember my life and my friends then...
What do you think?


Memories and hyperspace  woebagger
(M/, Miami, FL)  4/24/01 9:55 am

I have no idea what the capacities of the memory are, although the memory is obviously finite. We remember selectively. For example I still remember what that sneaky b*stard Paul Baxter did to my unch in the fourth grade, but I ust can't recall what my wife told me about the neighbor's niece's husband just two days ago. It is hard to believe I was even listening.

As for hyperspace, I think that it is mostly a way to make the plot of Star Trek episodes go faster. If we had to wait 100 years to meet the Borg or 230 to meet Species 2472, it would be boring indeed. *yawn!* So we speed through the dull parts of the Universe in hyperspace, how conVeeeenient!

Re: Want to live another 40 years?  katedirect
(39/F/California)  4/24/01 9:33 pm

Very good point about human memory, Masa.

Also, assuming everyone else around you is living just as long, what adjustments would be made in social structure and in hierarchies?

Would we end up with an elongated version of what we have now, or would we live a series of "lives"?
Given the rites of passage that exist in most societies, would our lives become a sequence of levels to be achieved, each more and more challenging and/or complex as we moved along during longer and longer lives?

Back to your earlier post, how would death be treated? Would the dead be mourned more, deified or sanctified more often? Or would the death of a few (assuming most people lived these very long lives) be demonized or hidden away?

Re: Want to live another 40 years?  JohnRawls
(31/M/Sweden)  4/25/01 3:26 am

Strange assumption about our memory, I agree with Woebagger that the memory is selective. Why would there be a time limit from where we couldnt remember things happened previous to this limit?

Mayby there is and mayby not - about this we do not know much since its very hard to do experiments about it.

Re: Want to live another 40 years?  masahiro_morioka
(42/M/Japan)  4/25/01 8:01 am

ok. Our memory may be selective, but we all agree that we have the upper limit to the amount of our memories. The problem is that 400,000 years old people would forget almost all of their lifetime memories.... Their lives are very different from us, or....... similar?

Re: Want to live another 40 years?  vrmmail
(20/M/India)  4/27/01 10:49 pm

In Japan, there are very old people ands it is very unique in that aspect. I think that Japanese respect their elder's wisdom very, memory of old age changes into wisdom or fades away !