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Bio Ethics and Longevity - Term Paper Example

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The idea of extending human lifespan has captivated scientists, philosophers and writers for a long time now. Moreover, ethicists have argued whether people should take a step to increase human longevity, which is not surprising. This is in consideration of the persistent media interest in research in to preventing or slowing ageing. Taking note of that, this paper will briefly summarize the ethical arguments that arose from this debate, with a focus on a recent case study on Life-extension and its effects on memory and learning (on worms). Finally, it will give a summary of critique of the case study as well as the personal opinion or ethical stand. 1. Summary Case study: Life-extension and its effect on memory and learning (on worms) The focus of the case study is on two methods to increase the longevity of various organisms - calorie restriction and alteration hormone insulin. It claims that research has shown that, reducing activity related to the insulin signal pathway impact longevity positively. Several biological processes such as metabolism, development and stress response are triggered by the change of insulin signal pathway.1 A group of Biologists from Princeton recently found that, altering these mechanisms do also have some consequences on the organisms’ cognitive function and their research also revealed that calorie restriction and reduced insulin signaling is linked to reduced memory and learning as the organism grow old, which calls for development of a special treatment to avoid memory loss if people are to live longer. According to Coleen Murphy, longevity research works on the assumption that people who are able to live longer should have their bodies function equally well for the additional years. Collectively with her research team, they found out that calorie restriction had some severe effect on the lasting memory of C.elegans roundworms. To their surprise, the worms only suffered from impairment to long-term memory, but did not encounter any reduction in memory with age. Consequently, this means that gradual memory loss can be fought by calorie restrictions. On another front, the worms that were experimented with generic mutation reduced insulin active, signaling insulin activity. This experiment improved learning ability with age, but the worms were not secured from age-related reduction in long-term memory. These worms were used because their molecular mechanisms which governed these worms were alike to higher organism like mammals, and this has provided a promising hope for cognitive research on humans. Definition(s) Cognitive is based on or related to or involving reasoning or thinking, which is an activity of the mind. Indeed, Murphy’s team has done a tremendous job, but they have to be sure that it will apply to human beings as well and how they can overcome the reduction in learning and memory of these worms in question. The information that human’s genes are likened with those of C.elegans, enabled treatment of negative cognitive alteration in relation to longevity extension of the worms, which is an answer to humans research. This study poses big questions. Will there be equity in access to this intervention once it is out? How does it impact our morality as human beings? Is the use of worms as having the same memory as human beings ethical? The following principles and academic papers try to take these questions into consideration. 2. ...Show more


Philosophy: Bio Ethics and Longevity Course: Date: Philosophy: Bio Ethics and Longevity Introduction One of the most coveted things nowadays is living a long life, whether it will be a good or a bad life that is of no importance…
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Bio Ethics and Longevity essay example
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