Are you Ready to Live Forever? Regeneration

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Are you Ready to Live Forever? Regeneration

Postby GhostWolfe » Wed Dec 17, 2008 4:26 am UTC

Mighty Mice Regrown Organs

Whilst doing unrelated testing on mice, a scientist discovered a group of mice, whose ears had been pierced to mark them from the control, healed at an amazing rate.

Researchers systematically amputated digits and damaged various organs of the mice, including the heart, liver and brain, most of which grew back.


I have to admit that I squirmed a bit (okay, I squirmed a lot) reading about the tests they carried out on the mice; but this is a pretty big breakthrough in regenerative medicine.

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Re: Are you Ready to Live Forever? Regeneration

Postby psyck0 » Wed Dec 17, 2008 4:54 am UTC

Uhh... I am assuming that they didn't amputate the heart.

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Re: Are you Ready to Live Forever? Regeneration

Postby The Reaper » Wed Dec 17, 2008 4:54 am UTC

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Re: Are you Ready to Live Forever? Regeneration

Postby GhostWolfe » Wed Dec 17, 2008 4:59 am UTC

psyck0 wrote:Uhh... I am assuming that they didn't amputate the heart.
Researchers ... damaged various organs ... including the heart.

I'm curious if they were able to get any of the brain tissue to regenerate. My understanding was that brain tissue damage in humans never heals. This could be a major step forward for people with brain damage. Imagine also what it could do for degenerative diseases like MS.

/angell
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Re: Are you Ready to Live Forever? Regeneration

Postby mollusk » Wed Dec 17, 2008 5:30 am UTC

Uhh... I am assuming that they didn't amputate the heart.


My guess is that they chemically lesioned the heart, as well as the other organs rather than physically injure them. It would be similar to damage done by a heart attack.

I'm curious if they were able to get any of the brain tissue to regenerate. My understanding was that brain tissue damage in humans never heals


It's true that brain tissue doesn't typically heal, but this has more to do with the difficulty of re-creating the connections that were there before the injury.

What I want to know is how injecting mice with these cells gave them the extra regenerative ability. That seems crazy!
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Re: Are you Ready to Live Forever? Regeneration

Postby Vaniver » Wed Dec 17, 2008 5:31 am UTC

Article from 3 years ago about something that started in 1998? I'm going to bed now, but can anyone find any updates?
I mostly post over at LessWrong now.

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Re: Are you Ready to Live Forever? Regeneration

Postby GhostWolfe » Wed Dec 17, 2008 5:43 am UTC

From the Wistar Institute website.

From the look of the site, which was updated in September, they haven't published anything in a long while.

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Re: Are you Ready to Live Forever? Regeneration

Postby Indon » Wed Dec 17, 2008 5:47 am UTC

Well, if anything ever comes of it, nifty.

We might have to make the use of fire and acid illegal, though, or at the very least make buying them require background checks.
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Re: Are you Ready to Live Forever? Regeneration

Postby Woofsie » Wed Dec 17, 2008 10:49 am UTC

Ugh.. this is one of the most disgusting articles I've read on animal research in a while. Sure, it's an interesting discovery, but the descriptions of what they did to the mice are just shocking:

Researchers systematically amputated digits and damaged various organs of the mice, including the heart, liver and brain, most of which grew back.

She and her colleagues wanted to find out what other parts of this strain of mice would grow back, so they snipped off the tip of a tail, severed a spinal cord, injured the optic nerve and damaged various internal organs.


I'm all for trying to prevent death, but I don't think I could be proud of the "progress of humanity" if this is how we do it.

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Re: Are you Ready to Live Forever? Regeneration

Postby Jack Saladin » Wed Dec 17, 2008 11:06 am UTC

... Ouch. Can't wait until we have the processing power to just atomically scan a mouse and simulate all of this crap.

Sigh. That's never going to happen, is it?

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Re: Are you Ready to Live Forever? Regeneration

Postby natraj » Wed Dec 17, 2008 11:07 am UTC

I wish. I could not get past the horror at that kind of torture long enough to get to the part where I go "Hey that's really cool!"
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Re: Are you Ready to Live Forever? Regeneration

Postby Nath » Wed Dec 17, 2008 11:10 am UTC

Hey, that's really cool.

I'm OK with animals being killed for my lunch. I'm certainly OK with animals being harmed in the interests of science. Is having your tail snipped off really more unpleasant than being slaughtered?

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Re: Are you Ready to Live Forever? Regeneration

Postby Jack Saladin » Wed Dec 17, 2008 11:12 am UTC

Did you stop reading at "tail snipped off"? And, frankly, yeah, I'd rather be slaughtered than have all that crap done to me before I die and get thrown out anyway. You don't think they let lab animals back out into the wild afterward, do you?

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Re: Are you Ready to Live Forever? Regeneration

Postby Nath » Wed Dec 17, 2008 11:22 am UTC

My point is, severing a mouse's spinal cord (etc. etc.) before killing it is a comparable amount of suffering to what goes on in slaughterhouses, often to far more intelligent creatures. (Suffering is not something that can be quantified exactly, so I don't much care whether people think these experiments are somewhat more unpleasant than what happened to my lunch. It's all the same order of magnitude, as far as I am concerned.)

So: killing an animal for lunch and killing an animal for scientific experiments both involve comparable amounts of harm. Meat is usually eaten for fun. Scientific research saves lives and advances our state of knowledge. I don't see much of an ethical dilemma here for people who are willing to eat meat.

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Re: Are you Ready to Live Forever? Regeneration

Postby Woofsie » Wed Dec 17, 2008 11:26 am UTC

My point is, severing a mouse's spinal cord (etc. etc.) before killing it is a comparable amount of suffering to what goes on in slaughterhouses, often to far more intelligent creatures. (Suffering is not something that can be quantified exactly, so I don't much care whether people think these experiments are somewhat more unpleasant than what happened to my lunch. It's all the same order of magnitude, as far as I am concerned.)


That sounds more like an argument against killing for food than it does an argument for torturing mice.

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Re: Are you Ready to Live Forever? Regeneration

Postby Jack Saladin » Wed Dec 17, 2008 11:32 am UTC

My point is, severing a mouse's spinal cord (etc. etc.) before killing it is a comparable amount of suffering to what goes on in slaughterhouses, often to far more intelligent creatures.

If slaughterhouses are going to that extent to make the animals suffer, then they need to raise their standards. Not all slaughtering of animals for meat is, or has to be, that bad.

So: killing an animal for lunch and killing an animal for scientific experiments both involve comparable amounts of harm. Meat is usually eaten for fun. Scientific research saves lives and advances our state of knowledge. I don't see much of an ethical dilemma here for people who are willing to eat meat.

While I agree that the cost is worth the potential benefits, surely you can acknowledge that those descriptions are a little unsettling. Additionally, I don't eat meat for fun. It's not a hobby or anything.

But I better stop talking about this, lest gmalivuk decides to PM me yelling about my horrendous off-topicness and to take my whining elsewhere or something again.

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Re: Are you Ready to Live Forever? Regeneration

Postby Nath » Wed Dec 17, 2008 12:12 pm UTC

Woofsie wrote:That sounds more like an argument against killing for food than it does an argument for torturing mice.

It's not so much an argument as a dose of perspective. If harming animals for such an important cause bothers you (by 'you', I mean 'one'; not specifically Woofsie), then perhaps you should reconsider your position on harming animals for a trivial cause (i.e. burritos etc.). Conversely, if you're OK with the latter, you should probably reconsider your position on the former.

Jack Saladin wrote:If slaughterhouses are going to that extent to make the animals suffer, then they need to raise their standards. Not all slaughtering of animals for meat is, or has to be, that bad.

Not having experienced either a slaughterhouse or the above experiments, I have to use my imagination to estimate how unpleasant they'd be:
Spoiler:
Having one's tail snipped off: probably not as bad as having one's jugulars and carotids slit and bleeding to death while hanging upside down. While conscious, incidentally, according to some slaughtering methods.
Having one's spine severed: you know, I'd probably choose this over a captive bolt pistol, which would jellify my cerebrum while leaving me alive enough to pump out my blood through my soon-to-be-severed carotids.
Injured optic nerve, internal organs: I'm pretty sure dying damages these things anyway. Insignificant compared to the above.
(Spoilered for possible informativeness.)

The above is just some of the stuff that happens in most slaughterhouses, and arguably not the worst of it. It certainly seems comparably unpleasant to what happens to lab rats. I see no compelling evidence that one is more unpleasant than the other.

Jack Saladin wrote:While I agree that the cost is worth the potential benefits, surely you can acknowledge that those descriptions are a little unsettling.

Momentarily unsettling, until you put them in perspective.

Jack Saladin wrote:Additionally, I don't eat meat for fun.

Fair enough. I do, though, as do most non-vegetarians I know.

Jack Saladin wrote:But I better stop talking about this, lest gmalivuk decides to PM me yelling about my horrendous off-topicness and to take my whining elsewhere or something again.

Is this off-topic? We are discussing whether the experiments described in TFA are ethically justifiable.

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Re: Are you Ready to Live Forever? Regeneration

Postby Woofsie » Wed Dec 17, 2008 12:37 pm UTC

Nath wrote:It's not so much an argument as a dose of perspective. If harming animals for such an important cause bothers you (by 'you', I mean 'one'; not specifically Woofsie), then perhaps you should reconsider your position on harming animals for a trivial cause (i.e. burritos etc.).


Oh I agree, certainly.

However I don't think the argument that "we already do other bad stuff, so it's okay to do this particular bad thing" is very good. Having already killed 20 people doesn't make killing 5 more people okay.

If you were to consider this particular case on its own, without putting it into "perspective", would you still not see anything wrong with it?

(Honestly I have to wonder how you can even eat meat while acknowledging that it's only for fun and that huge amounts of torture and death are required for it.. but I think that is too far off-topic).

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Re: Are you Ready to Live Forever? Regeneration

Postby Nath » Wed Dec 17, 2008 1:53 pm UTC

Woofsie wrote:However I don't think the argument that "we already do other bad stuff, so it's okay to do this particular bad thing" is very good. Having already killed 20 people doesn't make killing 5 more people okay.

Of course. That wasn't the claim. The claim was that you (again, not you personally) already do something worse without seeing anything wrong with it, so your two moral positions are logically inconsistent.

In other words, the following positions are all reasonable:
- Animal research and meat consumption (for fun) are both wrong.
- Animal research and meat consumption are both just fine.
- Animal research is OK, because it's important. Eating meat for fun is wrong.

The following position is silly if you value the progress of science more than your immediate enjoyment:
- Animal research is wrong, but it's OK to eat meat for enjoyment.

Woofsie wrote:If you were to consider this particular case on its own, without putting it into "perspective", would you still not see anything wrong with it?

Value judgements are all about perspective. I don't know how to go about making a decision like this in isolation. Are you asking me what decision I'd make if I'd never been exposed to the concept of eating animals? Because I don't really know how to answer that.

Woofsie wrote:(Honestly I have to wonder how you can even eat meat while acknowledging that it's only for fun and that huge amounts of torture and death are required for it.. but I think that is too far off-topic).

Feel free to start a relevant thread; I'd be glad to explain. I'm assuming you're vegetarian, by the way? If not, you must have some digestive condition that requires you to eat meat to stay healthy.
(EDIT: from another thread, I see that you are vegan. OK, so your position is one of the logically consistent options outlined above.)

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Re: Are you Ready to Live Forever? Regeneration

Postby Kachi » Wed Dec 17, 2008 4:52 pm UTC

Waterboard the little bastards if it'll do some good for humans. I don't condone the sadistic torture of animals, but I only consider something animal abuse if it doesn't advance the human agenda. Potentially notable exceptions to the most intelligent of animals, but I do mean potential.

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Re: Are you Ready to Live Forever? Regeneration

Postby Indon » Wed Dec 17, 2008 6:57 pm UTC

Jack Saladin wrote:You don't think they let lab animals back out into the wild afterward, do you?


I don't imagine they capture them in the wild in the first place.

I imagine a lab animal that comes out of any applicable testing, and is no longer useful for further testing, and is still healthy and of good temprament, probably ends up as a pet (or snake food, if still healthy and of good tastiness).
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Re: Are you Ready to Live Forever? Regeneration

Postby The Reaper » Wed Dec 17, 2008 7:13 pm UTC

Mice eat their babies. [experience] I'm sure they harmed the mice in the least harmful way possible, rather than just jamming a screwdriver in there or something. Oh, and most of them grew back, that's hella cool.

As for the "It's Never Lupus" picture, in case anyone was wondering, they were researching lupus and found tiny Wolverines.

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Re: Are you Ready to Live Forever? Regeneration

Postby mollusk » Wed Dec 17, 2008 7:50 pm UTC

To the people who are bothered by the descriptions of what is done to these animals:

The use of animals for research is STRICTLY controled by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC). Before an experiment can begin, the researcher must describe exactly what will be done to the mice and how they will prevent as much suffering as possible.

Because of this, I guarantee that all these proceedures done under anaesthesia, especially the organ damage.

I don't want to sound morbid, but cutting off the tip of a mouse's tail or a toe is probably not as bad as you are thinking it is. Tail-clipping is a common practice for collecting tissue in laboratory mice. If they bleed at all, it is only for a few seconds, then they go back to acting normal. It is not equivalent to cutting off a human's finger.
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Re: Are you Ready to Live Forever? Regeneration

Postby Delass » Thu Dec 18, 2008 6:34 am UTC

First, thats AWESOME. assuming its true.

Second, animals used for slaughter arent tortured. They are killed in less than a second. Hell, they dont even feel extra anxiety before they get slaughtered. Iv seen countless pigs, a few sheep, and a few steers (castrated male cows) slaughtered.

Third, what mollusk said.

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Re: Are you Ready to Live Forever? Regeneration

Postby The Great Hippo » Thu Dec 18, 2008 6:44 am UTC

Delass wrote:Second, animals used for slaughter arent tortured. They are killed in less than a second. Hell, they dont even feel extra anxiety before they get slaughtered. Iv seen countless pigs, a few sheep, and a few steers (castrated male cows) slaughtered.


Not to turn this into a discussion of slaughterhouse cruelty, but you could not be more wrong. Rather than link a video for you, I'll let you go and look for one on your own (there are plenty, and they are immensely graphic). Just do a search for 'hornel pig cruelty' on youtube, you should come up with a great one.

As for the torture to the animals, yeah, I'm not going to cringe over a mouse's tail being clipped off unless it's pretty clear that the people doing it are being sadistic fucks. So long as the mice are made as comfortable as possible, most of this is (supposed) to be regulated.

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Re: Are you Ready to Live Forever? Regeneration

Postby Outchanter » Thu Dec 18, 2008 7:49 am UTC

Jack Saladin wrote:You don't think they let lab animals back out into the wild afterward, do you?

That could have some interesting ecological consequences when the animals in question are super powered mutants. Or in this case, X-Mice.

Are there any side effects? Reduced lifespan? Increased chance of cancer?

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Re: Are you Ready to Live Forever? Regeneration

Postby The Reaper » Thu Dec 18, 2008 9:12 am UTC

Outchanter wrote:
Jack Saladin wrote:You don't think they let lab animals back out into the wild afterward, do you?

That could have some interesting ecological consequences when the animals in question are super powered mutants. Or in this case, X-Mice.

Are there any side effects? Reduced lifespan? Increased chance of cancer?

In this case, invulnerability.

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Re: Are you Ready to Live Forever? Regeneration

Postby wst » Thu Dec 18, 2008 12:32 pm UTC

Outchanter wrote:
Jack Saladin wrote:You don't think they let lab animals back out into the wild afterward, do you?
Are there any side effects? Reduced lifespan? Increased chance of cancer?
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Re: Are you Ready to Live Forever? Regeneration

Postby Green9090 » Thu Dec 18, 2008 8:17 pm UTC

Image + Image = ?
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Re: Are you Ready to Live Forever? Regeneration

Postby Delass » Fri Dec 19, 2008 8:03 am UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:
Delass wrote:Second, animals used for slaughter arent tortured. They are killed in less than a second. Hell, they dont even feel extra anxiety before they get slaughtered. Iv seen countless pigs, a few sheep, and a few steers (castrated male cows) slaughtered.


Not to turn this into a discussion of slaughterhouse cruelty, but you could not be more wrong. Rather than link a video for you, I'll let you go and look for one on your own (there are plenty, and they are immensely graphic). Just do a search for 'hornel pig cruelty' on youtube, you should come up with a great one.

As for the torture to the animals, yeah, I'm not going to cringe over a mouse's tail being clipped off unless it's pretty clear that the people doing it are being sadistic fucks. So long as the mice are made as comfortable as possible, most of this is (supposed) to be regulated.

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Animals used for slaughter typically arent tortured. Better?
Corporations raising these pigs want profit. They and every other agriculture student know that torturing animals reduces profit, for a few obvious reasons.

I guess the same would go for lab rats, though I have no firsthand knowledge of them. You would get better results with a surgery than just beating the mouse with a hammer, no?

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Re: Are you Ready to Live Forever? Regeneration

Postby The Great Hippo » Fri Dec 19, 2008 2:04 pm UTC

Delass wrote:Animals used for slaughter typically arent tortured. Better?
Not even slightly.
Delass wrote:Corporations raising these pigs want profit. They and every other agriculture student know that torturing animals reduces profit, for a few obvious reasons.
It's offtopic, so I'll PM a video or two to you. But in shorthand: No, it doesn't. Torturing animals has nearly zero effect on profit. It certainly doesn't produce a profit, but I've never seen any compelling evidence that shows thoroughly tortured and sodomized meat is less profitable than non-tortured meat.
Delass wrote:I guess the same would go for lab rats, though I have no firsthand knowledge of them. You would get better results with a surgery than just beating the mouse with a hammer, no?
Actually, it might be more realistic to see if a mouse could survive random, brutal trauma like that. It's not exactly scientific, and I'm sure there's a better way to conduct the experiment, but... it'd be one way to see how far the mouse's regenerative abilities go.

I'm not so sure that I'd feel the same way about researchers taking hammers to mice, though.

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Re: Are you Ready to Live Forever? Regeneration

Postby Matsi » Fri Dec 19, 2008 5:27 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:It's offtopic, so I'll PM a video or two to you. But in shorthand: No, it doesn't. Torturing animals has nearly zero effect on profit. It certainly doesn't produce a profit, but I've never seen any compelling evidence that shows thoroughly tortured and sodomized meat is less profitable than non-tortured meat.


Here's a link that explains what happens to meat when stress hormones are released. While nothing is said about profit, clearly the quality of the meat is reduced when the animals are under too much stress: http://ag.ansc.purdue.edu/meat_quality/mqf_stress.html

Now to get OT:
This is definitely nothing new, and there's an institute called the "Methuselah Foundation" that has made some huge leaps in research on regeneration and (the prevention of) aging. They claim that we will have a regeneration treatment in this century for people that are rich enough, and eventually for everyone with a modal income, effectively making humans immortal.

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Re: Are you Ready to Live Forever? Regeneration

Postby Mighty Jalapeno » Fri Dec 19, 2008 5:34 pm UTC

If they combined this with the "universal aging gene" that they seem to have located, I would be... well, very squicked out. It would be cool, though!

Also, having taken part in animal slaughtering, I can say that it's certainly not difficult to painlessly (or at least very quickly) kill animals to be used for food. I've gone on to then EAT the animals that were killed (my kids helped cut and wrap a cow last year. Mmm!) In the case of the Hornel (Hormel?) pig slaughtering, that's just... well, lazy. It may not be difficult to do it more humanely (I wish there was a better word, since humans aren't humane by any stretch) but from an economic standpoint, it comes down to "we don't NEED to."

Go, supermice! Go!

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Re: Are you Ready to Live Forever? Regeneration

Postby cwoodin » Fri Dec 19, 2008 7:32 pm UTC

wolverine.JPG
wolverine.JPG (139.58 KiB) Viewed 4178 times

Hey guys.. what's the big deal again?
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Re: Are you Ready to Live Forever? Regeneration

Postby aleflamedyud » Sat Dec 20, 2008 7:13 pm UTC

Finally. Now we just need to invent a TARDIS, and we can all live happy lives as Time Lords.
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Re: Are you Ready to Live Forever? Regeneration

Postby apeman5291 » Sat Dec 20, 2008 7:35 pm UTC

wst wrote:
Outchanter wrote:
Jack Saladin wrote:You don't think they let lab animals back out into the wild afterward, do you?
Are there any side effects? Reduced lifespan? Increased chance of cancer?
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Each mouse had 400 BABIES!!! that all ran like KENYANS!!!

On a more serious note, this is pretty awesome. I hope it doesn't just disappear like many of these discoveries and experiments do.
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Re: Are you Ready to Live Forever? Regeneration

Postby Green9090 » Sat Dec 20, 2008 11:19 pm UTC

apeman5291 wrote:I hope it doesn't just disappear like many of these discoveries and experiments do.

Seriously, what is up with that? I keep hearing things like "revolutionary new material found," "mice given superpowers," "scientists unveil eye-mounted laser," etc., and then nothing comes of it.
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Re: Are you Ready to Live Forever? Regeneration

Postby Guff » Sun Dec 21, 2008 12:12 pm UTC

When cells from the regenerative mice were injected into normal mice, the normal mice adopted the ability to regenerate...
Oh, so that's how they came up with that idea in the second season of Heroes.

I blame mice for the increasing inanity and utter nonsense that has taken over that once kind-of-decent-I-mean-I'll-watch-it-if-it's-on-but-I-like-House-more show.
I don't think I'm out of line when I say these mice are total dicks.
Last edited by Guff on Sun Dec 21, 2008 10:59 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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EsotericWombat
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Re: Are you Ready to Live Forever? Regeneration

Postby EsotericWombat » Sun Dec 21, 2008 10:50 pm UTC

Well then it's TOTALLY COOL to torture them.
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Mysidic
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Re: Are you Ready to Live Forever? Regeneration

Postby Mysidic » Sun Dec 21, 2008 11:32 pm UTC

This is cool as well, but I've always wondered if something like this was possible in people:

http://8e.devbio.com/preview_article.php?ch=2&id=6

This jellyfish has achieved near immortality by reverting back to sexual immaturity after reproducing. It seems that both of these are based off a similar idea.

If we ever actually did it, it would be weird going back to an infant though. D=
""Thou shalt not lie": in other words, beware, my dear philosopher, of telling the truth." ~Nietzche


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