Prometheus von Cornsilk (kingnixon) wrote,
Prometheus von Cornsilk
kingnixon

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weird science

i saw an interesting show on discovery the other night. it was about making people more like superheroes, or something like that. one cool part was this guy who was working with fruit flies. he had a whole 'colony' of flies that were living like 3 times their normal lifespan. he did this by preventing any of the flies from reproducing until around middle age. that way only the flies genetically disposed to longer life would reproduce. and he did this with each generation, making htem wait a little longer to reproduce. eventually, all his flies were genetically made to live a whole long time by fly standards (it was actually like 2 weeks or something). anyway, what made it really cool is the point that people are already doing this to themselves. instead of having kids at 15 or 20, in planning to be dead by 30, now we routinely live into our 70s and beyond, and people put off having kids until they are older for various reasons. so we're slowly increasing our avg lifespan. it's just less noticable because a human generation is way longer than a fly generation
other cool things were this other guy trying to make it so people can regrow limbs and grow extra arms and shit (apparently if your finger gets cut off above the top knuckle so you only lose part of the tip, it will grow back, but if you lose it below the knuckle you're screwed. he's trying to figure out why the difference), and someone trying to make people able to stop aging. apparently when people get really old, like 90s, they stop aging in the sense that the deterioration of their bodies only comes from wear and tear, things arent breaking down anymore. so they want to be able to stop aging earlier
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