Sneak peek at immortality?

When it comes to immortality (or longevity), the “immortal cell” cannot be the solution. If it were, further reproduction of cells would have to cease; you see, there’s already a known situation where the cells forget to die and reproduce themselves forever, and it’s called a “tumor” or “cancer“.

But even if there was a way around it, that is to say, to make cells immortal, by unblocking the biological mechanisms that order a cell to die, regardless of it’s current condition and then to prevent the existing cells from further reproducing themselves, to avoid tumors, even then, “immortal” would not guarantee “in perfect condition”; the reason is that, in that case, exhausted, damaged or sick cells would never be replaced! “Normal wear” would take its toll… and inevitably… death would come, perhaps even sooner than before!!

Apparently, the cycle of life and death within our bodies also serves the purpose of getting rid of worn-out, replacing them with new ones…

On the other hand… what about unblocking mechanisms that may exist in our body, which potentially “ensure” death of the body on a “system as a whole” scale (as opposed to “per single cell”)? Well, that would vividly remind me of several ancient Greek myths, describing situations where a mortal being (Centaur or Human) would become immortal, but only to endlessly continue aging, becoming more and more weary, wounded, sick, living in agony and pain, without hope of relief through natural death!

So what’s to do? Well, we do want cells in our body to continue to be replaced by new ones… but we do not want to get older in the process… But the problem is that in the reproduction cycle, every new cell generation is a little bit less perfect than the previous one… the reason being that, cells are built on information based on their DNA… and in fact, with every reproduction cycle, information is lost across the edges of the DNA’s double helix.

Obviously, the incomplete copying of the DNA string into every new generation is the cause of aging: although a cell is newborn, the new DNA string on which it is constructed lacks important info that the parent cell had, and the result is that the newborn cell is  at some extent inferior both in form and in functionality… we recognize this deterioration process in our culture as “aging”.

Skin cells, for example, which may be two years old by actual age, would still look sixty years old on a sixty year old body, because of the accumulated loss of DNA info. That would continue, up to the point where the information left in the residual DNA is so incomplete that brand new cells are born “too old”… they are too defective by design, not only to function properly, but even to sustain themselves… That’s what we’re really referring to when someone dies of “old age“…

Idea: What if a mechanism was found that could ensure (or just improve, for that matter) the accuracy of the DNA helix reproduction and preserve the integrity of the helix during the life cycle of the cell? What if cells in every new generation were just as good as the previous ones? Then, the life-and-death cycle within our bodies would still be left intact, but there would be no deterioration with time, no aging…

And the Nobel Prize for Medicine for 2009 goes to…

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Stratos Laspas

Stratos Laspas

O Στράτος Λάσπας είναι Certified Eating Psychology & Mind-Body Nutrtition Coach. Η προσωπική συμβουλευτική υποστήριξη στην ψυχολογία της διατροφής (Eating Psychology Coaching) είναι μια συναρπαστική και καινοτόμος προσέγγιση που αντιμετωπίζει με αποτελεσματικότητα θέματα βάρους, αδηφαγίας (binge eating), υπερφαγίας (overeating), συναισθηματικής υπερφαγίας (emotional eating), προκλήσεις σε σχέση με την προσωπική εικόνα που έχουμε για το σώμα μας (body image), τις αιώνιες, ατελείωτες και επαναλαμβανόμενες δίαιτες (yo-yo dieting), καθώς και ποικιλία ζητημάτων υγείας και σωματικών συμπτωμάτων που σχετίζονται με τη διατροφή, όπως η λειτουργία της πέψης, η αίσθηση κόπωσης, η πεσμένη ή ευμετάβλητη διάθεση, η λειτουργία του ανοσοποιητικού και άλλα.

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