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Thread: why we age .

  1. #1

    Wink why we age .

    I was sitting in my room and thinking about crap and immortality came to mind. I under stand that aging is caused by the immune system. and the deeper I thought, it hit me the cell degeneration is caused by our cells making a copy of a copy of a copy tell the point we die. There's my brain fart have fun

  2. #2

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    *gets his Lecturers hat on*

    I read an interesting article about this a few years ago while doing my A level biology studies, a comparison was made between our cells and those of parrots, as well as the difference in lifespans. According to the research the ageing of the human body is due to a major defect in our cell structure.
    The reason we age faster than parrots is due to the differences in our mitochondrial structure.

    For those of you who have never taken A-Level biology, the mitochondria is basically the powerhouse of the cell, it produces the energy the cell needs to function, but in doing so releases Gamma radiation on a micro-scale.

    The difference between our own and that of parrots (and possibly other long lived animals such as turtles, tortoises etc) is the thickness of the walls of the mitochondria.

    All the cells in the human body are replaced regularly via mitosis (the process of cell division) basically copying of the genetic code using strings of RNA, (one half of dna) stored near the mitochondria within the cell.

    The gamma radiation slowly damages the RNA, effectively deleting or changing the coding and making subsequent cells less efficient and more likely to fail, the longer we are alive, the more damage is done until the cells can no longer produce viable copies at a sustainable rate, thus resulting in the physical effects we define as ageing.

    In parrots, the mitochondrial walls are much thicker, so reaching this catastrophic level of damage to the RNA takes far longer, enabling the accurate copying of cells to continue to continue longer, thus resulting in an extended life time compared to our own.

    Interestingly I've not seen any evidence of an attempt to investigate methods of engineering human cell rna to produce thicker mitochondrial walls in a similar manner. Logically, if it were possible to do so, then the average lifespan of humans as a species could well be increased by decades.

    TL;DR: we aren't designed to die, nature just screwed up

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by zachery980 View Post
    I under stand that aging is caused by the immune system. and the deeper I thought, it hit me the cell degeneration is caused by our cells making a copy of a copy of a copy tell the point we die.
    For simplicity's sake, I'm going to mention once that your first statement is contradicted by your second statement and move on.

    Anyway, yes and no. Autoimmune issues can hasten signs of aging and diseases typically of old age, yes. And cell replication and loss of telomeres also causes problems. But there're way more factors involved that you're missing. Maintenance of good health and how many pills/drugs (OTC and otherwise) will determine how fast it is until your organs shut out. Chronic diseases can cause premature aging. Etc etc.

    ---------- Post added at 19:17 ---------- Previous post was at 19:01 ----------



    Quote Originally Posted by Ozone View Post
    The difference between our own and that of parrots (and possibly other long lived animals such as turtles, tortoises etc) is the thickness of the walls of the mitochondria.
    The mitochondrial membrane is the same thickness in every organism that has mitochondria- four layers' worth of phospholipids. The composition may be different. But the thicknesses are the same.



    Quote Originally Posted by Ozone View Post
    All the cells in the human body are replaced regularly via mitosis (the process of cell division) basically copying of the genetic code using strings of RNA, (one half of dna) stored near the mitochondria within the cell.
    The RNA you're speaking of isn't stored. Replication uses short primer sequences. These are made shortly before replication, and degraded shortly after.



    Quote Originally Posted by Ozone View Post
    The gamma radiation slowly damages the RNA, effectively deleting or changing the coding and making subsequent cells less efficient and more likely to fail, the longer we are alive, the more damage is done until the cells can no longer produce viable copies at a sustainable rate, thus resulting in the physical effects we define as ageing.
    Yes, but this is an issue that's entirely environmental. Gamma radiation is strong stuff. Put you, me, and a parrot next too each other, we'll all suffer the same amount of molecular damage from gamma radiation. Make my mitochondrial membranes ten times as thick as yours, it wouldn't make a difference. You're talking stuff that requires a shield of lead or depleted uranium to make any kind of significant difference.



    Quote Originally Posted by Ozone View Post
    In parrots, the mitochondrial walls are much thicker, so reaching this catastrophic level of damage to the RNA takes far longer, enabling the accurate copying of cells to continue to continue longer, thus resulting in an extended life time compared to our own.
    Again, thicker, no. Different composition, probably. But unless that composition is lead (it isn't), it's not going to reduce genetic damage from radiation.

    And in any case, you claimed that these RNAs are stored near the mitochondria, not in it. So even by your own reasoning the thickness of the mitochondrial membrane is irrelevant.



    Quote Originally Posted by Ozone View Post
    Interestingly I've not seen any evidence of an attempt to investigate methods of engineering human cell rna to produce thicker mitochondrial walls in a similar manner.
    There are a few holes in your background here (RNA doesn't produce the walls of mitochondria, for one). Ignoring them, this is roughly as feasible as trying to genetically engineer humans that can fly. In short, we haven't done it for the same reason we haven't genetically engineered ourselves to have stronger muscles and bones or taller bodies or more attractive features.

    Even if it was easy, we really wouldn't know what we're doing. Most estimates say we understand somewhere in the 1-10% range of all the stuff happening inside a cell... and that's based on work with bacterial cells, which are way, way less complicated than animal cells.

    ---------- Post added at 19:33 ---------- Previous post was at 19:17 ----------

    Also, composition of the mitochondrial membrane doesn't just change from organism to organism, it changes from cell type to cell type. The composition of a mitochondrial membrane is going to look vastly different if you compare an axon to a sperm cell. Anyone who characterizes the mitchondrial membrane of a parrot and says "a parrot's mitochondria's membranes look like X" doesn't know mitochondria very well.

  4. #4

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    Henrietta Lacks - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    read about this person a while ago whilst surfing the internet at school.
    part of a tumor inside of her was apparently immortal in the sense that the human cells it was made up of didn't die after multiplying several times. it's even evolved into the HeLa immortal cell line, which has been used for a great many biological experiments for human tissue.

    thought it was worth posting

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by ZakRoo View Post
    [URL="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henrietta_Lacks"]read about this person a while ago whilst surfing the internet at school.
    part of a tumor inside of her was apparently immortal in the sense that the human cells it was made up of didn't die after multiplying several times. it's even evolved into the HeLa immortal cell line, which has been used for a great many biological experiments for human tissue.
    Really interesting stuff, though it's not technically accurate to say they evolved into the HeLa line. One thing about cancer cells is that some of them are really, really good at preventing degradation of DNA. It's not the only immortal cell line, but it's certainly the most famous.

    If you're interested, there's a fascinating book out called The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. There's quite a story of how her cancer cells (cervical?) got to be an immortal cell line used for research.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ozone View Post
    TL;DR: we aren't designed to die, nature just screwed up
    Everyone over 100, get back to prolonging the species. There, I fixed it.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by kite View Post
    Everyone over 100, get back to prolonging the species. There, I fixed it.
    this made my night lol

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