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July 9, 2005

Breakthrough in genetic engineering

Mutations in our genes over the course of our lives are a major cause of aging. These mutations cause the mechanisms in our bodies to stop working, or to work in harmful ways.

Aging is a major drain not only on our personal lives and happiness, but also on the health of our society. We devote huge resources to the treatment (rather than cure) of age-related symptoms. But what if we no longer needed to treat the symptoms of aging, because we had cured the underlying causes? What if the resources spent on the treatment of symptoms could instead be used for other things?This would be a double-win both for individuals and for our civilization.

But the benefit extends even further. We spend our entire lives gaining skills and experience, only to be maimed and enfeebled by the symptoms of age. And then we are dead, and all that we have learned about the world is lost forever. And each generation must begin anew the process of “learning the world.” This is such a waste. It is a loss not only to the individual, but to new generations, who are constantly losing the pathfinders who came before them and who could help guide the way. (This ignores, for the moment, the potential problems of over-population that the youth restoration revolution would seem to make inevitable. This issue will be dealt with in future posts)

Fortunately, scientists have just taken a major step toward learning how to fix the damage that accumulates in our genes. You can read more here

Big government spends billions treating symptoms. But businesses and research institutions are spending much less on research aimed at understanding and fixing the underlying causes of age-related disease and infirmity. This research will eventually make all of the government’s spending on symptoms obsolete. There is more than one way to Downsize DC, and create Human Progress.

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