Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Immortality, the possibilities and the boredom

Immortality is something of a unreachable goal and I am sure some people are actually looking into this. But are there any real possibilities. I like to think so, and I have a few ideas like Stem cell research and transferring consciousness in a computer. Moravec and ray Kuzrwell have proposed that, (thanks to potentially growing computer power) it will one day be possible to upload human consciousness onto a computer system. The mind can theoretically live indefinitely in a virtual environment. This could be also be accomplished via advanced cybernetics, where computer hardware would be stored in the brain to enhance memory function. Eventually the cybernetics will out number the organic cells and will replace the brain.

Kenneth Haywaorth at Harvard University, whose field is connectomic, a new branch of neuroscience. The word Connectome is a compete map of a brains neural circuitry. Some scientists believe that human connectome will one day explain consciousness, memory, emotion and even diseases like autism, schizophrenia and Alzheimer's. In 2010 the National Institute of health established the Human Connectome project. Hayworth is taking a few steps further by way of looking at the growth of connectomics, he also want to preserve his brain in amber colored resin before he dies of natural causes. In the even of possible future of reviving his 50 million neurons and trillion synapses to restore consciousness. There is the question of a soul if it will remain in the computer once the human organic part is dead. it seems there is no tangible answer, also technology hasn't reached that far.

 Steam cell research seems like a good way to start with. Stem cells are biological cells found in multi-cellular organisms, that can divide via Mitosis. The daughter cells can differentiate into diverse specialized cell types and can self renew to produce more stem cells. There is the controversial embryonic stem cells and adult stem cells which are found in various tissues. The adult stem cells in progenitor cells act as a repair systems replenish adult tissues.
There are three sources of adult stem cells Bone marrow which requires extraction into the bone typically the Femur or iliac crest. Adipose tissue  lipid cells which requires extraction by liposuction. Finally Blood, which require extraction through pheresis. The process of harvesting stem cells  and returns the blood via a machine. Bone marrow transplanting and growing artificially embryonic stem-cells through therapeutic cloning. There are many reasons to try stem cell to potently cure a whole list of diseases particularly in cell degradation. Stem cells seem like a possibility though there is a question of ethics and the use of embryos of unborn fetuses that has made this such a controversial topic.

I can't help but wonder if and when we reach a point of immortality do we get to the point of feeling it will be like groundhog day. Where by the days and hours will become this long drawn out realization that you might be bored for the rest of your life. If you think about it there is a so many scenarios you can achieve in your normal life time and once you remove the limits of time then there is a good possibility of repeating your self. With the memory you get the feeling of Deja vu and relationships there might be a horrid possibility you married someone with habits that you grow to hate. I see immortality as a long drawn out day with no sleep considering that you accomplish the days event you can finally get to rest. Science may have a opportunity to allow you become a brain in a jar or a complicated computer cyborg or re-grow your Cells like some kind of human lizard mutant. But will it be worth it? , knowing you can watch reruns of your favorite shows forever. Or that you still might outlive your own solar systems and end up homeless on a dead rock. I do hope there might be a way to get rid of all the diseases in the world, but for me Immortality would be more of a punishment then a gift...

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