The Mathusalems are back!

Hello XPRIZE,
the subconscious mind is 500,000 times more powerful than the conscious mind and today we know, thanks to epigenetics, that cells can be immortal (see Nobel Prize winner Alexis Carrel 1912).
My idea is to create a working group, made up of families with newborn babies who are educated to think that the normality is to live up to 969 years as Methuselah.
We must isolate the beliefs of these children and protect them from the old way of thinking that you die at 100 years old.
Thank you for your attention and greetings.

Enzo Parianotti

Comments

  • marz62marz62 Seattle, WAPosts: 122 ✭✭✭
    edited September 2019
    This proposal is problematic on several levels...but I'll start with your opening paragraph:

    1] "the subconscious mind is 500,000 times more powerful than the conscious mind"

    How did you determine this number (i.e., 500,000 times more powerful) -- based upon what research? This is a provocative claim without basis in fact.

    2] "...thanks to epigenetics, that cells can be immortal"

    We do not "know" this...at all. Cell LINES (lineages) can be "immortalized" through continuous transfer of (cell) cultures (but even these acquire mutations and evolve over time).

    Perhaps you are referring to the earlier use of the term 'epigenetics' as it referred to (in utero) morphogenesis / embryological development....but that had little to do with cellular 'immortality'. [Note: this usage of 'epigenetics' was prior to the recent discovery of methyl and acetyl 'marks [among others] that are attached to certain histone structures on our DNA's chromatin, via 'transferase' enzymes)

    Overall, your 'human-child engineering' project smacks a little too much of eugenics*...a movement that has a troubled history, to say the least.

    *Carrel was an advocate of eugenics (guided by aristocratic 'elites'). Not to diminish Carrel's profound contributions to medicine (vascular surgery, organ transplantation, and anti-sepsis treatment)...his experiments with chicken heart cells that he claimed could "grow (replicate) indefinitely" -- that cell senescence could be permanently overcome -- were never reproduced by contemporary biologists -- even as a few modern researchers have claimed that the 'Hayflick limit' (a limit on the number of single cell divisions possible) can be surpassed under certain ideal growth conditions.
  • marz62marz62 Seattle, WAPosts: 122 ✭✭✭
    edited September 2019
    ADDENDUM/UPDATE: Recently published research by Baez-Ortega et al on canine transmissible venereal tumor (CTVT) cells (in which they traced the 6000 year evolution of 'the first' CTVT cancer cell) show that "there is no inherent limit on the number of mammalian cell divisions" [summary article: 'Cancer cell evolution through the ages', Science, 2 August 2019, p.440-441)...meaning that a cell -- separated from its host tissue and remaining viable (which is not the normal state of things in a multi-cellular organism) -- has no genetic (i.e., cell intrinsic) basis for a limit on its cell divisions; it is only due (most likely) to cell-cell signalling in a multi-cellular environment (e.g., in liver or brain tissue) that prompts cells to reach senescence or die after so many divisions.

    When "liberated" from its native host, some transmissible cancer cells (as with CTVT) can theoretically continue to divide indefinitely -- as long as the daughter cell finds a new host which provides conditions suitable for continued growth (and until such time that the cancer cell descendants must once again be transmitted to a new host, via random mating, in the case of ancient dog species).

    It should be noted, however, that a cancer cell is not a 'normal' or healthy cell (even while the CTVTs are not lethal to most infected dogs); the CTVT cells have been 'transformed' to a cancerous (neoplastic) state in which continuous cell dividing (perhaps due to silencing of telomerases) is enabled.
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