Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Key Step In Programmed Cell Death Discovered

CmdrTaco posted more than 6 years ago | from the is-it-the-step-that-stops-it? dept.

Biotech 80

Investigators at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital have discovered a dance of proteins that protects certain cells from undergoing apoptosis, also known as programmed cell death. Understanding the fine points of apoptosis is important to researchers seeking ways to control this process. In a series of experiments, St. Jude researchers found that if any one of three molecules is missing, certain cells lose the ability to protect themselves from apoptosis. A report on this work appears in the advance online publication of Nature.

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered


Omg cheater (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22610160)

Death Hax! Death Hax!

I for one.... (5, Funny)

bytta (904762) | more than 6 years ago | (#22610168)

I for one welcome our dancing protein overlords.

The Hax1 Gene (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22612832)

This gene also gives you the ability to see through walls and have perfect aim.

Hmm (-1, Troll)

debrain (29228) | more than 6 years ago | (#22610228)

Contrary to first glance, this story has nothing to do with programming or the cell processor. /me moves on.

lol hax (-1, Offtopic)

(TK2)Dessimat0r (669581) | more than 6 years ago | (#22610242)

Fuck yourselves


        * Main
        * Apple
        * AskSlashdot
        * Backslash
        * Books
        * Developers
        * Games
        * Hardware
        * Interviews
        * IT
        * Linux
        * Mobile
        * Politics
        * YRO


        * FAQ
        * Bugs


        * Old Stories
        * Old Polls
        * Topics
        * Hall of Fame
        * Bookmarks
        * Submit Story


        * Supporters
        * Code


        * Jobs
        * PriceGrabber
        * Special Offers
        * Sponsor Solutions
        * Surveys

Approaching Immortality and the end of disease (-1, Redundant)

FromTheAir (938543) | more than 6 years ago | (#22610246)

I think we are getting closer. My Proof for Immortality. Although it may not be a mathematical proof it could be considered a conceptual proof that math could support.

The human body is a data set. This data set is transferred repeatedly throughout life and it is the data representing the body that is persistent. Data can last eternally if there is a continuity of available storage mechanisms during that duration. In a stateful universe there may not even need to be physical storage if the entire universe replicates from the previous state into a new state. Experience is the observation of a change in state. In theory any state of the universe (data set) could be observed with time being irrelevant because you are simply looking at a huge data set that exists outside of time. Data is beyond the effects of time. It is because we are simply experiencing a complete data representing the universe in consecutive states at a particular point in a cause and effect chain. But that is another topical area.

The physical material of the body is not persistent; the data is persistent. A life term is only limited by the ability to replicate the data provided the life force or animation principal persists. It is the destruction of data set that results in a terminal condition that or the inability to properly replicate the data set. After enough failures the logic needed by the system and it's integrated sub systems is degraded to such a degree that the sub-systems fail causing the entire system to fail. In other words the system develops bugs and the hardware starts to fail, we call these things disease conditions.

Each time the data is copied there can be corruption or failure of the data transfer mechanisms; this seems to most affect mitochondrial DNA. The biochemical machine will repair a bad data copy using a good copy when the genetic hash value is wrong. The number of times that the data can be replicated in technically in theory is to infinity.

However there is a design constraint on the human biochemical machine which is probably mathematical in nature and an inherent system limitation resulting from the engineering requirements needed for the system to work. The chromosomes have a limited number of telomeres available limiting the number of replications. Telomeres are like book ends which keep books together. The telomeres keep the chromosomes together. Every time it is replicated, child cell produced, a new data copy is made, and a new set of book ends is used the first cell starts with a limited number so the number of cell generations is limited. When the book ends runs out that cell line ceases to exist.

There are biochemical mechanisms to add on telomeres, however the genetic switch or functional capability to allow these mechanisms to be applied to all cell lines near the end of their duration, allowing them to continue for an infinite duration (Eternity), does not seem to be set to ON in the human species and may be related to the ability to produce vitamin C being turned off. In fact this one genetic switch that was turned off thousands of years ago could be part of the immortality factors. However what we find in the phenomena of cancer seems to be a failed immune or immortality response.

Also worth noting is that intelligent stem cells can assume data, properties and functions of other cells groups in effect allowing data persistence and renewal of cell lines.

If the gene to create the enzyme to manufacture vitamin C is turned off there is a way to emulate it being turned on by consuming the amounts of Vitamin C that would have been generated to support or enhance the biochemical systems.

If we could mange adding telomeres back in the right places, and or slow down replication cycles caused by the need for repairs, maintain neural integrity (improved cellular waste removal), prevent mitochondrial DNA damage, and or utilize the advanced intelligence of stem cells for replacement and persistence, we would have at least life spans approaching 1,000 years if not 10,000.

Our progeny is the production of a bug free virgin data set it is our own biochemical machine replicating itself. It can also be considered an upgrade because both the female and male genes combine producing a hybrid data set that contains the best features of both that were developed during their life spans genetic modifications. This would also include real time inheritance of species wide broadcasted genetic upgrades. So in a sense the original data set lives on and is contained in the future generations or replications of the body machine and the original data set could live eternally but it would not be exactly the same because it would be an evolved data set.

Short life spans speed evolution. So the turning off of the gene to produce vitamin C may have an evolutionary benefit based on the level of consciousness of a civilization. Short life spans are necessary for the rapid evolution of consciousness. The reason it benefits evolution at certain phases of evolution of say humanoids is that so called beliefs (knowledge, expectations, and or fictions) evolve faster. Each generation refines the beliefs based on new discovery so the more generations within a given time duration the greater the degree of evolution during that time period. In other words a society with longer life spans would tend to preserve a belief set for a longer period and may allow older beliefs sets to dominate longer. It would be more accurate to say thought patterns and behavioral traits.

At the point that belief systems were allowed to freely evolve and change rapidly (NOW) then it would serve the organism or civilization to live with longer life spans allowing for a greater knowledge base to be obtained. In fact at a certain point short life spans would inhibit evolution because of the amount of data and intelligence required to be absorbed before being able to evolve technology and adaptability for the species to the environment. We are reaching the threshold where the common brain impaired by malnutrition will not be able to comprehend the system enough to operate it, enhance or modify it due to complexity.

Therefore as might guess thanks to cognitive enhancers some have, including myself have figured out the biochemical mechanisms for persistent data replication and device replacement, in other words immortality. At least there are temporary real measures to applied now to extend the life span enough until the knowledge and understanding to fully enable immortality, eternal data persistence occurs. Of course there is the other crucial piece to this that is not well understood either. Without this other piece the data set has no meaning. That is the life force, or animating factor, in conjunction with the observer / being /awareness. It could very well be that when the attention of this awareness on a particular cause and effect chain (soul) is diverted the cause and effect chain terminates and is known as death of your body and character or role.

Now one might expect that if good reason existed for awareness to continue the propagation of a cause and effect chain by placing it's attention on it then it would do so.

Perhaps part of the secret lies in creating a reason for being to experience your persistence crucial to this would be the ability to continually evolve. When the finite being stops evolving it then dies.

I would go on to say that many humans upon reaching a certain age stopped evolving their minds and then die. This could be changing though where some seek to continue to evolve their minds and therefore continue living.

So in summary of one can replicate a data set for eternity then immortality is achieved.

If you are interested in learning to apply some of these techniques for immortality now click the link below and start reading. The End of Disease http://intelegen.com/nutrients/index.htm [intelegen.com]

Re:Approaching Immortality and the end of disease (5, Insightful)

Oktober Sunset (838224) | more than 6 years ago | (#22610460)

Where is the mod for -1 overfilled crackpipe? That was the biggest load of jibber jabber since time cube.

Agreed. (1)

interactive_civilian (205158) | more than 6 years ago | (#22610620)

Seriously. I want some of the Whiskey Tango Foxtrot that the GPP is smoking.

On a slightly related note, does it drive anyone else crazy when someone says "theory" when they mean (at best) hypothesis (a falsifiable idea based on the data) or (at worst) conjecture (when they mean "some hair-brained idea without significant support but *maybe* fits my notion of life, the universe, and everything)?

What GPP was saying is NOT a theory. Relativity is a theory. Evolution (well, through mutation and natural selection) is a theory. E=IR is a theory. A theory is well supported by facts, either not yet disproved by facts (evolution, relativity), or, though disproved, accurate enough to work well enough in our frame of reference (Newton's laws of gravity).

I understand the colloquial meaning of "theory" perfectly well, and I reject it, especially in a place like Slashdot. This is "News for Nerds. Stuff that Matters." The language should reflect that. (NB: this rant is targeted at GPP, while voicing my agreement with the parent post)

Re:Agreed. (1)

Illserve (56215) | more than 6 years ago | (#22613088)

What GPP was saying is NOT a theory.

Wrong, it's absolutely a theory. ANY idea about how things work is a theory, whether well supported or not.

There is a common belief (I think because it's often taught in grade school) that there is a process by which hypotheses graduate into theoryhood, but it's simply not true. Any theory, from the Time Cube to the notion of gravity, is perched on the same knife edge of being falsifiable by the right piece of crucial evidence. That's the true glory of the scientific method.

Re:Agreed. (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 6 years ago | (#22620148)

I understand the colloquial meaning of "theory" perfectly well, and I reject it, especially in a place like Slashdot. This is "News for Nerds. Stuff that Matters." The language should reflect that.

You expect people who can't reliably distinguish between "there", "their", and "they're" (or "rain", "rein", and "reign") to make precise distinctions in the use of the word "theory"?

You're new here, right?

Fool! (3, Funny)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 6 years ago | (#22610914)

That was the biggest load of jibber jabber since time cube.

Perhaps, once you've become immortal, you'll live long enough to understand the time cube. Foolish mortals!

Re:Approaching Immortality and the end of disease (0, Troll)

FromTheAir (938543) | more than 6 years ago | (#22611036)

I don't expect individuals with limited comprehension and study or research time to understand it. It is most certainly not off topic and would seem to indicate that you intentions may be to subdue the thought because it contradicts the fictional story industry would like to hold up as truth, either that or it is simply ignorance and an inability to respond intelligently and articulate something of value as to establish any flawed reasoning.

Re:Approaching Immortality and the end of disease (2, Insightful)

cavebison (1107959) | more than 6 years ago | (#22614154)

No, the flawed reasoning is in the original post. Don't know why I'm wasting time on this but anyway:

"My Proof for Immortality."

If you call that opinion piece a "proof", it's already evident you're not talking the same language as everyone else. I don't know what a "conceptual proof" is. If you mean "proof of concept", that implies you have evidence that the concept holds water.

You compare biology with "data":

"The human body is a data set. This data set is transferred repeatedly throughout life and it is the data representing the body that is persistent."

Explain how data representing the body is persistent? What data, do you mean DNA coding? Actual cells die and get replaced, so it can't be that. DNA is NOT persistent, as it can be damaged. So what data, exactly, is persistent? The entire "proof" revolves around attaching the biology to a concept of "data" ("The human body is a data set.") and if the poster can't be bothered establishing that introductory premise in logic, then you can't blame on us for not bothering to take him/her seriously.

".. because both the female and male genes combine producing a hybrid data set that contains the best features of both that were developed during their life spans genetic modifications."

This is exactly why we dismiss such prattle. Like any good politician or magician, words are used to make things sound feasible where, on anything closer than casual examination, they are revealed as bollocks. eg. Since genetic "defects" (congenital disease etc) are also passed along into this "hybrid data set" as it is so eloquently and technically described, it's hardly a result that anyone would call "the best features of both".

Basically, if even thinking about that post is a way to "evolve" one's mind, you'd best pin it up at the local zoo to get anything out of it.

Re:Approaching Immortality and the end of disease (1)

FromTheAir (938543) | more than 6 years ago | (#22620166)

"This is exactly why we dismiss such prattle."
" Exactly who is "WE" ? What are there names? Do you think and speak on behalf of a lot of people, must be that group mind thing.

In about 6 months all soft tissue in the body is replaced by new molecules after 3 years all bone matter has been replaced by new molecules. So there will be no physical material currently present in your body that will remain in it three years from now, are no physical remnants that persist, the only thing that persisted was the information representing your body. It is a bit abstract and I guess some can't comprehend it.

When a cell divides the DNA is split and recombined forming two copies this is how the DNA or data is transferred. DNA is really a programming language with 4 bases.

Believe it or not the data on your computer and the images on your screen are all stored as zeros and ones, the words are not actually written on the hard disk platter.

If you looked at the hard disk platter you would even see anything because the data is actually represented by a magnetic field. In DNA there is not a diagram of the heart that cells read and build according to the blue prints. The actual code or routine to create the heart is stored.

They argued about 17 years over light being a wave or a particle before deciding contrary to what one might reason.

Like God science has never seen an atom, the atom is a bit subjective; they have only detected the presence of a concentration of electrons that represent a sort of a signature of an atom and created a fuzzy image using that data.

What scientists can do is measure it's effects, and use math to model and predict the effects of the atom. It is not known what the atom actually is because it cannot be seen. We have simply tried to create an image of it based on it's effects.

Re:Approaching Immortality and the end of disease (1)

cavebison (1107959) | more than 6 years ago | (#22623450)

"We" obviously means myself and anyone else who thinks it was unreasonable prattle pretending to be logic. I'm sure you understand that "we" doesn't necessarily mean you, the rest of the world or anyone who wouldn't agree with me. It's pointless picking on it, just assume I don't mean you if it doesn't apply.

What you've said is fine, though I'm not sure who it's directed at. I'd (hesitantly) add that we don't directly perceive the world in any way at all. Things we "see" are just our brains' reactions to incoming light and, combines with the rest of our senses, we surmise what reality actually is. Of course you already know that, but I apologise for using "we" if you don't. ;)

Re:Approaching Immortality and the end of disease (1)

FromTheAir (938543) | more than 6 years ago | (#22626592)

People often use the word "we" to support the validity of an argument as if a plurality of individuals signify the correctness of something. Usually it is based on an assumption that others are in alignment with their thought. Yet it usually turns out they did not consult query or survey any number of people to make that statement. In history we find the plurality of individuals, the status quo are often wrong. Of course only the author knows what it was they intended to be conveyed so I can't say. Most of the world as we were taught and conditioned to think is fiction because certain people and groups benefit from certain choices of perception and perspectives.

add that we don't directly perceive the world in any way at all. Things we "see" are just our brains' reactions to incoming light and, combines with the rest of our senses, we surmise what reality actually is.
Yes, I totally agree with that, and would add light simply carries data, and can be used to modify data.

Re:Approaching Immortality and the end of disease (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22610466)

Wow, man, how much acid did you drop? That's what you were referring to with "cognitive enhancers", right?
Still interesting in places, though.

Re:Approaching Immortality and the end of disease (1)

FromTheAir (938543) | more than 6 years ago | (#22611088)

Well LSD and crack pipe clichés are really a display of ignorance and laziness and demonstrate a lack of an ability present an intelligent perspective that might help evolve thought and demonstrate flaws in reasoning. Not that it matters the truth eventually becomes self evident.

Re:Approaching Immortality and the end of disease (1)

smallfries (601545) | more than 6 years ago | (#22611816)

Indeed they are, and after reading your somewhat familiar brain dump I am curious enough to ask you: Is your mental illness of the manic/psychotic persuasion, or is it a type of schizophrenia? Your writing shows lots of high-level understanding of the subject and parts of your cognitive processes are obviously still functional. But you are completely irrational and your gibberish shows that you have lost the ability to filter and discard faulty hypothesis, and as a result you are unable to see where your unique view of reality has diverged from those around you. Medication could really change your life for the better.

Re:Approaching Immortality and the end of disease (2, Interesting)

cavebison (1107959) | more than 6 years ago | (#22614200)

Then there's this:

"The physical material of the body is not persistent; the data is persistent. A life term is only limited by the ability to replicate the data provided the life force or animation principal persists."

Ok, where does the "data" reside, if not in the physical material of the body? Is it not DNA which codes for the entire material body, aka its "data set"? But wait, DNA is material! So explain then, what you mean by "the data is persistent".

*What is the point* of throwing around a "theory" which:

a) misrepresents established scientific principles (challenging them is ok, misrepresenting them is not),
b) is internally inconsistent, or at the very best, full of large gaping holes in reasoning, and
c) uses technical language for no other purpose than to sound technical.

It's the same age-old approach used by snake oil salesmen and, more recently, "intelligent design".

Re:Approaching Immortality and the end of disease (1)

Henkc (991475) | more than 6 years ago | (#22615716)

Yes. And I've found that if you hook up an E-Meter(TM) to your bum (on advice from my brother in the Church(TM) who also happens to be my sister's husband's offspring) and your left nut, then you also start to really appreciate the asymptotic tangent inherent in the sublime existential spirit of the universe; if you embrace this ephemeral confluence of cosmic data, then you too will understand the truth of the sublimation. :P what a fucking plank.

Cancer applications? (4, Interesting)

PinchDuck (199974) | more than 6 years ago | (#22610256)

I wonder if they could trigger apoptosis in cancer cells? That would be very cool

Re:Cancer applications? (3, Informative)

Rhabarber (1020311) | more than 6 years ago | (#22610380)

Everybody can kill cancer cells.

The art is do do it selectively (to not kill everything else). No breakthrough here.

Re:Cancer applications? (1)

Rhabarber (1020311) | more than 6 years ago | (#22610450)

To be fair, many attempts have been made to selectively kill cancer cells. People used antibodies or toxins bound to molecules that bind to proteins typically expressed in a certain kind of cancer tissue. The problem is that even if you manage to kill 99.9% of your targets, there will always be some cancerous cells (often further mutated ones) being immune to your strategy. Those will proliferate and very soon you have a kind of cancer that cannot be treated any longer.

Throwing some ideas out there (2, Interesting)

Metasquares (555685) | more than 6 years ago | (#22610958)

That's why I always thought the most successful treatments would be the ones that somehow exerted selective pressure to favor the weaker cells - those most vulnerable to a particular treatment, for example.

Failing that, an "ensemble method" is probably the way to go, since cells that survive that would have to be immune to the intersection of every treatment you're throwing at them.

Another idea that avoids the selectivity problem is to use things that cause cancerous cells to differentiate, rather than killing them off - that's what makes ATRA such a great therapy for acute promyelocytic leukemia, for example. Those sorts of things should probably become easier to find with advances in genetics and more targeted therapies. Other things that don't kill cancer cells but render them harmless, like angiogenesis inhibitors or telomerase antagonists, also offer promise, since either the cells are immune but can't complete the steps required for proliferation or they're not immune and are affected by the treatment (the problem is that cells sometimes have more than one way to do these things...).

(Disclaimer: IANAO)

Re:Cancer applications? (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 6 years ago | (#22610516)

Everybody can kill cancer cells. The art is do do it selectively (to not kill everything else).

Shit! I need to revise my medical contract before Dr. Brutus arrives for my treatment. I knew I left somethin' out. The contract looked too simple.

Re:Cancer applications? (2, Insightful)

radtea (464814) | more than 6 years ago | (#22611262)

No breakthrough here.

Understanding the mechanisms of apoptosis is fundamental to understanding cancer. Cancer cells are typically "immortal". They do not undergo programmed cell death. This research, which demonstrates the role of these three proteins in protecting against apoptosis won't apply directly to cancer treatment, but will shed light on the gene networks responsible for regulating apoptosis, which will increase the odds of us learning how to turn it back on for cancer cells.

This is part of the ordinary business of good science, and definitely worth reporting on as a step in the direction of understanding one of the most fundamental biochemical mechanisms there is.

If you're looking for "breakthroughs" you shouldn't be looking at science. Breakthroughs exist almost (almost!) exclusively in the province of myth. They are far too rare to be worth looking for, particularly as they are only ever recognized as such a generation after the fact.

Re:Cancer applications? (3, Insightful)

cpricejones (950353) | more than 6 years ago | (#22610394)

For normal cells to become cancer cells, they must become immortal. Immortalization generally involves alteration of normal cellular functions, such as the apoptosis machinery. So it's unlikely that the apoptosis pathway could be activated.

Re:Cancer applications? (1)

Captain Vittles (1096015) | more than 6 years ago | (#22610800)

Immortal strikes me as the wrong choice of wording here, as these cells can still die quite easily. Aggressive would be a better fit, as the mutated cells have their suppression mechanisms deactivated, leading to proliferation of mutated cells which then spawn further mutations, and the cycle goes on until the cancer cells start invading surrounding tissue and/or metastasizing throughout the body.

Re:Cancer applications? (2, Informative)

cpricejones (950353) | more than 6 years ago | (#22611080)

Immortal is the word used when talking about cells that can persist indefinitely. One of the first types of mutations that cancer cells have is the mutation to activate hTERT, the telomerase gene.

Re:Cancer applications? (2, Insightful)

David Munch (939296) | more than 6 years ago | (#22610494)

The problem with cancercells is not killing them, we have loads of options on doing that. The problem is identifying them and killing them seperately and not affect surrounding tissue.

Re:Cancer applications? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22610522)

It's all fun and games until we're running from the vampire zombies.

Re:Cancer applications? (1)

modmans2ndcoming (929661) | more than 6 years ago | (#22610842)


that would be the point. triggering it in cancer stem cells means you can excise a mass and the remaining cells die off.

Re:Cancer applications? (4, Informative)

D.A. Zollinger (549301) | more than 6 years ago | (#22610960)

Triggering apoptosis is the ultimate goal in cancer treatment. When a normal cell examines itself, and finds that it is genetically different, it will trigger apoptosis in order to sacrifice itself for the good of the being. Tumorigenic cells want to die, but for some reason the apoptosis mechanism never gets triggered, or is triggered and does not work. Therefore if researchers better understand what triggers apoptosis, then tumorigenic cells can be examined for those missing proteins. Perhaps if the apoptosis mechanism can be fixed, we will have a cure for the majority of cancer. There will still be a small number of tumorigenic cells which don't know they are different, thus have a perfectly working apoptosis mechanism which was never triggered.

Lets try putting this in computer terms. Say when you copy a file by downloading it off the internet, the file itself wants to ensure you have an exact duplicate. Therefore the file performs its own CRC check once it is downloaded. If it fails the CRC check, it deletes itself and you have to download another copy. Now imagine this is a file sharing operation, thus your copy gets shared with many others who are downloading the file from you. If your copy became corrupt in the download process, yet didn't delete itself, a corrupt version of the file would be spread across the Internet (Pandemonium! Cats and dogs sleeping together! Chaos!). Thus wouldn't you want to fix the broken mechanism so that the corrupt file deleted itself, so that the process is started over? Unfortunately there is also a minuscule chance that a corrupt file will generate an identical CRC value thus never triggering the deletion.

Re:Cancer applications? (2, Funny)

Wordplay (54438) | more than 6 years ago | (#22612366)

Tumorigenic cells want to die ...and so begins the Goth Theory of cancer.

Re:Cancer applications? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22615220)

You may be a little overly optimistic. There are different cells at work in different cancers so the mechanisms are going to vary. There is also observed differences in the cancerous cells from person to person. Cancer is still pretty much a genetic problem in the sense that (to the best science can tell) there are mutations/damage to the celular dna. The damage can occur randomly in the helix so there are variations. The magic bullet theory won't apply here either.

This is however, a very good breakthrough in understanding the mechanism. This sort of goes along with other research as well. One of the big things in Cancer right now is Monoclonal Antibodies that target the IGF-I (Insulin Growth Factor) receptor. As they point out in the article it has to do with the energy source of the cell which is also the target of IGF-I.

Unfortunately, any new treatments based on this knowledge will be 10 years or more down the road. A sad statement for those already fighting the disease.

Re:Cancer applications? (1)

KlomDark (6370) | more than 6 years ago | (#22625308)

Scary how much similarity there is between cancer cells and members of the Republican party.

Cancer death of aging kill or save by immortality (2, Interesting)

FromTheAir (938543) | more than 6 years ago | (#22611004)

Cancer the death of aging, killed or saved by immortality Part I Is an interesting perspective, which explores the idea that cancer is a failed immune response for repair. Part II includes the recently discovered by key to stopping wasting disease which improves the chances of not succumbing to cancer. Most people are not actually killed by cancer; the treatments kill them before it ever gets a chance, and the death certificates are actually false statements. Does anyone think it odd that the compounds used in Chemotherapy cause cancer? They are extremely carcinogenic.

Dr. Chojkier and lead author Martina Buck, Ph.D., of VA, UCSD and the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, have described the steps by which tumor necrosis factor (TNF) alpha, an immune-system protein, prevents the production of albumin. Low levels of albumin, a critical protein made in the liver, is a keynote of wasting.

According to Dr. Chojkier, a gastroenterologist and liver specialist, antioxidants such as vitamin E might halt wasting in humans if these supplements were delivered in very high amounts-or even better, if they were targeted to the liver.
Read it all here http://iamblogging.net/archives/2008/02/cancer_the_deat.html [iamblogging.net]

Re:Cancer applications? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22639944)

I read through all the replies to your post, and I'm surprised nobody seems to be aware of anthocyanin research, especially cyanidin-3-rutinoside:

http://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0304383505004647 [elsevier.com]
http://www.jbc.org/cgi/content/abstract/M610616200v2 [jbc.org]
http://pubs.acs.org/cgi-bin/abstract.cgi/jafcau/2001/49/i03/abs/jf001246q.html [acs.org]

Sorry about the first URL - it was the only way I could quickly figure out to get a link to the article. Just click on the Science Direct link on that page to view it (maybe the other link also works, but I didn't test it).

Of course, this research is only in its infancy and could turn out to be a dead end, but I'm surprised nobody here seems to be aware of it. And I'm late to the discussion, so nobody will read this anyway....

- T

mod uP (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22610274)

the system clean to have to decide MOST. LOOK AT THE on baby...don't

That's what I'd name my music show (0)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 6 years ago | (#22610336)

Do nothing but snarky Bill Hicks-style smackdowns on the crappy pop acts ruining our culture and minds. This is "Falling Towards Apoptosis" with your host, Jollyreaper. Join me with the Christian Coalition -- they'll be smashing the CD's because they're immoral, I'll be smashing them because they suck.

Re:That's what I'd name my music show (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22612440)

Bill Hicks is dead. Long live the great Bill Hicks!

Prequel (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22610340)

It's all coming together now, this is the precursor to the real life Resident Evil series.
And on that note... I call chainsaw-hand!

Immunization? (4, Funny)

headkase (533448) | more than 6 years ago | (#22610360)

So can I be exposed to these three molecules in such a way that my immune system makes antibodies for them? Would be nice to be immunized against death.

Re:Immunization? (1)

Slippy. (42536) | more than 6 years ago | (#22610398)

Sure. It's called cancer.

Nothing says fun like knowing you're just one big tumor.

Re:Immunization? (1)

Yubastard (989606) | more than 6 years ago | (#22610582)

we cancer cells don't die, we multiply. Apoptosis makes us cry, but we will survive. /ends-bad-rap-'bout-cancer

Not quite (3, Informative)

xplenumx (703804) | more than 6 years ago | (#22610538)

Three points:

The proteins identified in the paper protect against apoptosis. If you were to inhibit them, your cells would be more susceptible to apoptosis, not more resistant (which they show using a knockout mouse). More importantly though, apoptosis is an essential process in both development and regulation (particularly the immune response). Indiscriminately inhibiting the apoptotic process would be detrimental to the organism as a whole (resulting in death, not the protection from).

Let's say your body produced neutralizing antibodies to the three proteins (or better yet, you inject humanized antibodies that targeted the proteins), the antibodies would still have to penetrate the cell in order to see their target. You would be much better off making a tat-fusion protein of a dominant-negative form of the protein.

Lastly, we've already identified several molecules that are important for apoptosis. One catagory of such proteins is call the Caspases [wikipedia.org].

Re:Immunization? (1)

t_ban (875088) | more than 6 years ago | (#22660876)

So can I be exposed to these three molecules in such a way that my immune system makes antibodies for them? Would be nice to be immunized against death.

"Millions wish for immortality who wouldn't know what to do with themselves on a slow Sunday afternoon"

- A quote a read somewhere by someone I don't remember

immortality available to who? (2)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 6 years ago | (#22610386)

probably for only the rich & powerful, us unwashed masses wont get it, and if we do it will be available after i die of old age or some terrible disease...

with over 6 billion people on earth just think if everyone got immortality and everyone making babies soon earth will be standing room only - yowsa!!!

Re:immortality available to who? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22610546)

There is a neat short story by Vonnegut about this. It's called "Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow".

Re:immortality available to who? (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22610598)

Solution is simple: free immortality, all you have to do is agree that you die if you ever have babies without permission. Not right away, but you start aging and eventually die as the treatment is reversed. Have a baby without permission, and grow old then die (your baby gets immortality treatment). That way when someone dies someone else gets an *authorized* baby, and the population remains stable. Maybe have a reversible sterilization (like a vasectomy) to prevent... accidents, while keeping baby-making ability in case of emergencies.

Now, obviously that stinks of china's "one baby" policy... but if people aren't willing to stop having babies on their own, either someone else has to stop having babies for them, or more people have to die. There is just not enough room for all the babies people want to have, sometimes. And if people aren't dying of old age... well then they can't keep making babies.

On a completely retarded sci-fi note... if we assume that we continue the trend of the west evolving into tall blond beautiful people, we stop aging about 20 and get quasi-immortality, and we advance science to the point where it looks like magic to most people and then integrate it into our biology and then our genetics... and then undergo an apocalypse so we forgot all this ever happened... Well then "we" get to be elves while people who didn't get (technology-so-advanced-it's-indistinguishable-from) magic, quasi-immortality, and a distinct look get to be regular humans. It could happen!

Re:immortality available to who? (1)

feepness (543479) | more than 6 years ago | (#22611282)

Well then "we" get to be elves while people who didn't get (technology-so-advanced-it's-indistinguishable-from) magic, quasi-immortality, and a distinct look get to be regular humans. It could happen!
Perhaps it already has...

Re:immortality available to who? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22625118)

E.L.F. = Engineered Life Form

Re:immortality available to who? (1)

iknowcss (937215) | more than 6 years ago | (#22610718)

This is sort of a huge jump that you're making. Just because we can stop cells from dying doesn't mean that immortality is just over the horizon. Did you ever stop and think there is a reason cells die? Your cells are replaced every day with new copies as a natural process. I've read that, because of this process, no part of your body is more than 10 years old at any given time.

Re:immortality available to who? (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 6 years ago | (#22611176)

The president of the Royal Society already pointed out that some very serious problems that we could encounter within ten or twenty years are considered only by SF writers. It is time that politicians realize and prepare for many likely scenarios.
I for one believe that steps should be taken RIGHT NOW to decrease natality all over the world. The population lives longer, consumes more and more resources, it is a survival step to at least stabilize the world population.

Re:immortality available to who? (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 6 years ago | (#22611208)

with over 6 billion people on earth just think if everyone got immortality and everyone making babies soon earth will be standing room only - yowsa!!!

On the upside, Soylent Green is actually quite tasty, despite what the press says.

Re:immortality available to who? (4, Informative)

Kenrod (188428) | more than 6 years ago | (#22611352)

Programmed cell death happens in cells that are ready to die because they have become damaged or non-functional in some way. If you stop this natural mechanism you won't get immortality, you get a body that dies much faster, probably within weeks.

Re:immortality available to who? (1)

blahplusplus (757119) | more than 6 years ago | (#22612086)

"Programmed cell death happens in cells that are ready to die because they have become damaged or non-functional in some way. If you stop this natural mechanism you won't get immortality, you get a body that dies much faster, probably within weeks."

I'm not quite sure how this was labelled "informative" since apoptosis is critical to development of every part of the body, if your cells didn't die, you would have a problem with 'fusion' and not develop your body parts properly (look at the toes), it's the same principle why twins can be ended up fused together - apoptosis never takes place where it should and you get things like twins with joined heads, etc.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Celldeath.jpg [wikipedia.org]

Body's are scukpted by apoptosis, if this process stopped you'd look like the hunch back or worse. Cell Death is absolutely necessary to people to maintain their 'dashing good looks' and normal healthy body. This idea that cell death is always bad is utter tosh. It's quite necessary.

How it works (1, Funny)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 6 years ago | (#22610496)

When a cell's number is up, an enzyme stops by, checks to see that it only has 512 megs of RAM, and then installs Windows Vista on it. Biology is fascinating.

-1 Offtopic
-1 Troll

Actual article text (4, Informative)

DebateG (1001165) | more than 6 years ago | (#22610556)

The actual abstract and article can be found on Nature's website and is entitled Hax1-mediated processing of HtrA2 by Parl allows survival of lymphocytes and neurons [nature.com]. Essentially what the researchers showed was that the gene Hax1 keeps cells alive when they aren't being stimulated with survival signals. This is interesting, for example, because cancer metastasis cells must survive in very foreign environments where they probably aren't receiving these factors. On the flip side, deficiencies in Hax1 results in blood cells dying early, causing a disease called severe congenital neutropenia.

Re:Actual article text (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22610780)

omg hax!

Wow. Article actually references the 'Hax'. (1)

!ramirez (106823) | more than 6 years ago | (#22610596)

"A research team elsewhere recently reported that Kostmann's syndrome, a potentially fatal inherited deficiency of granulocytes in children, caused by excessive apoptosis of granulocytes, results from a deficiency in one of the three proteins, called Hax1."

So, basically, this disease occurs because one doesn't have "teh Hax(1)".

Some brief background (5, Informative)

sam_handelman (519767) | more than 6 years ago | (#22610660)

There are four general situations where apoptosis is medically interesting. This particular result increases our understanding of apoptsis generally, so is potentially relevant to all of them:

a) Cancer. This is the big one. Your body has a natural defense against cancer - cells that would become cancerous undergo apoptosis and die. Only when this defense fails do you actually get cancer.

b) Viral Infections. Viruses (and a few bacteria, but it's not the same thing) get inside the individual cells of your body and take them over to make viruses. Again, your body defends itself by inducing apoptosis in affected cells - the virus will typically contain genes to try and prevent this.

c) Some degenerative diseases result from apoptosis being triggerred improperly in certain cells (Parkinsons' disease probably works this way.)

d) Aptoptosis plays a major role in normal human development; if this goes wrong, this may cause certain development defects.

Oh come on! Everyone knows... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22610810)

...cells die because they get bored [memory-alpha.org].

Hell yeah! (1)

hypoxide (993092) | more than 6 years ago | (#22612758)

One step closer to a zombie invasion. Fire up the flame thrower, honey, it's gonna be a long night!

But what about... (1)

amorri09 (1134951) | more than 6 years ago | (#22636272)

All the inmates serving "Life-Sentences"....I know and understand this isnt an "immortality" prospect, in all reality, but just say it was, what WOULD we do wiht them at that point...Deny them an immortality prospect or not...I mean when the judgememnt of "life sentence" was issued the judge or jury prolly wasn't taking this into account... In light of that news, I'd have to say that the penal system would have to be reworked due to the fact that we wouldn't want to pay to keep inmates indeffinately in jail...This would maybe either A) boost capital punishment or B)eliminate life terms...And i know this is far fetched and sci-fi esque....pretend that the treatment was a genetic one that was bred into the population through gene manipulation during gestation, and then became a passable trait for future offspring so it was inherently IN the population, there would be no way of reversing it....so what would we do for deathes and such as well? adn what would we do for life inmates?
Check for New Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account