Thursday, December 30, 2010
How, exactly, do we age? Why is it that our bodies begin to grow old and die? Why can't our body cells just keep reproducing and keep us young and healthy? Well, after talking with Dad, I came to find out that we have, on a certain chromosome, a set of genes that gets smaller every time the cells split, and as these bits of gene get smaller and smaller, we get older. So, is there a way to either lengthen this gene so that the aging process takes longer? Or could we perhaps come up with a way to keep those genes from splitting during cell reproduction? Either way, it's like searching for the fountain of youth. It's pretty impossible. We know for a fact that when we clone, those little aging genes inside the clone subject cell have already aged, so when the cell is cloned, the subject ages rapidly because of the already aged cell. So, if we are to clone someone, do we use a cell from a fetus? That way the clones are identical? Or do we want to clone EVEN EARLIER? Could we perhaps make 7 different, yet physically identical people? But then again, what mother would want septuplets? Another question is how do our exercise habits affect our aging? Why is it that really obese and unfit people end up dying when they are 50? Could it be that the body is having a hard time maintaining itself, or are their actions making their body cut off more and more of that gene every time the cells split? I'm probably not going to find out any time soon, seeing as I'm not a geneticist. But oh well. We'll find out eventually.