By Stanley Shostak
Explores how new organs should be engineered through cloning and reproductive expertise to supply human immortality.
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Additional resources for Becoming Immortal: Combining Cloning and Stem-Cell Therapy
Clearly, a world occupied by immortal human beings—or, more likely, shared by mortal and immortal human beings—will be more 34 QUO VADIS? homogeneous than a world occupied entirely by transient, mortal human beings. Indeed, were human beings to exist eternally at a particular physiological age, immortality would have erased one of the greatest sources of friction currently existing among human beings—aging. The consequent homogeneity would not threaten humankind with a loss of individual identity, since the superabundance of differences among and within organisms would compensate and preserve individuality among immortals.
108 Alternatively, genes for death might once have managed to hitchhike their way into generations by attaching themselves to other genes that actually provided substantial advantages for reproduction and without which organisms would survive and reproduce for shorter periods. Programmed Cell Death and Apoptosis: A major problem with Weismann’s ideas on the inheritance of lifetime was posed by the results of the ﬁrst experiment with tissue culture. Ross Grainville Harrison (1870–1959) invented hanging-drop tissue culture in 1907 in order to see if pre-nerve cells could grow neural processes as they differentiated into nerves.
Programmed cell death may kill cells, but it is not necessarily destructive. , freeing the embryonic limb from the body wall), and embryonically where cavitation via programmed cell death carves out major embryonic and extraembryonic cavities. In insects, amphibians, and other organisms which undergo metamorphosis between larva and juvenile stages, apoptosis may remove larval tissue. Programmed cell death also serves as a preemptive strike in adults against the encroachments of cancer. The major tumor-suppressor genes are linked to apoptotic cascades.