X-Message-Number: 1033
Date: 21 Jul 92 13:26:58 EDT
From: Andrew Davidson <>
Subject: cryonics: #1026 - #1031

I recall reading an SF story in Analog or IASFM which used the idea of
adding checksums to DNA as the basis for immortality.  No Nobel prize for
Peter Merel, I'm afraid.

This reminds me of an interesting theory of aging.  It seems that when DNA
reproduces, the ends of the spiral tend to fray and the string becomes
shorter.  Dummy bases are used to pad out the string, protecting the
significant part from loss.  As cells reproduce this protective buffer gets
eaten away and when the significant part starts fraying you get aging
effects.  This would explain why the descent into old age takes place after
a period of apparent stability.  There were some problems with this theory
but I don't recall the details.


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