[extropy-chat] (health) risks and benefits along a bell curve ?

Robert Bradbury robert.bradbury at gmail.com
Fri Mar 17 00:13:37 UTC 2006


>From a physics perspective you should be worried a lot more about how many
X-rays you receive over your lifetime, or how much UV radiation you receive
or how much radon is in your basement.  Cell phone radiation is in the
microwave region and though it might cause the molecules in your brain to
vibrate a little faster (probably much less than some moderately hard
exercise will do because it raises your overall body temperature) -- that
radiation does not have the energy necessary to break chemical bonds (such
as those in your DNA) which harder radiation (UV, X-ray & gamma rays) does.

Fundamentally the *only* thing which will work currently, IMO, is to consume
fewer calories, reducing your overall metabolic rate thus reducing the
molecular damage that the normal process of living cause.  This also
activates the longevity promoting genetic pathways.  You are probably doing
significantly more damage eating an ice cream cone you probably don't need
than by making a cell phone call.

It looks like over the next few years we will have some alternates to this,
such as resveratrol, that can activate those genetic defense pathways
without having to adhere to the whole caloric restriction diet approach.
That will only be "half-a-loaf" of benefit however.

Ultimately the problem is that the genomes for most if not all higher
species have defects in their DNA repair processes which slowly corrupt the
genetic programs in each cell.  You will not solve that part of aging by
anything you do lifestyle wise.  Its going to require aggressive
interventions.  There are many of these on the "to-be-engineered" table --
the most obvious near term one of these is supplementation of the cells in
ones current body with "verified to be reasonably undamaged" stem cells
isolated and grown in larger numbers from your existing stem cell pool.

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