[ExI] Stem cell breakthrough

Ben Zaiboc bbenzai at yahoo.com
Tue Feb 4 11:41:08 UTC 2014

Adrian Tymes <atymes at gmail.com>wrote:

>Problem is, try to actually design and build the modular architecture you
>are talking about, of equal range of functions as the human body, and have
>it running for many years without high maintenance.  It is not as easy as
>you imagine.
>And then there is the problem of moving people from their current bodies to
>this new architecture.
>Replacing organs individually looks to be a lot more achievable.  If done
>for all or most organs, in theory it even yields the same end result.

I don't imagine it will be easy, far from it, I'm well aware that it'll be very difficult.  What I am claiming is that it will be worthwhile.  The 'running for many years without high maintenance' is the heart of the matter.  The whole point is to make this 'high maintenance' possible, easy, and in the end, not-so-high.

Transitioning from current bodies to a new one will be another challenge.  Significant, but worth it.

Replacing organs individually is exactly what I want to achieve (organs, tissues, whole systems, as well as getting various other advantages), and this would be a lot easier if we didn't have to hack the body up in order to do it, then leave it to heal (provided you're in a fit state to survive the process).  The end result would be far from the same.  It would be like the difference between Uncle Tom's Cabin and a modern trailer home, or a massive program written in Basic and the same program written in Java.  They do the same job, but one is a lot better at it than the other.

William Flynn Wallace <foozler83 at gmail.com> wrote:

>If, as I have suggested, stem cells can be put into our bodies and start to
>replace our cells with new cells, not tired old copies of the old ones,
>then there is no need for moving a person to the new 'architechture'.
>Everything is replaced in situ.

This won't solve problems like accumulations of things like lipofuscins, and it won't mean you recover any quicker from a broken arm (or suffer any less while it's healing).  And it doesn't represent an upgrade path.  Simply shoring up the same tired old kludge will probably work, for a while, but it's not good enough.  Not by a long way.  This is supposed to be the Extropians list, not the Let's-Keep-Things-The-Same, Nature-Knows-Best list.

This is probably one of the very few places I could say this, but stem-cell therapy strikes me as a conservative, limited and temporary solution to the problem of ageing bodies.  They are a useful component, yes, but not a complete solution in themselves.

Ben Zaiboc

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