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Thread: All about repairing or replacing the human body

  1. #31
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    It seems rather meaningless to me to predict from current birth rates what the fate of the human species will be in 1500 or 5000 years. Simply calculating from that starting point forward until you reach zero, or a too small to survive, population does not make a good argument. The possible impact of all of the incalculable unknowns is too large by orders of magnitude to warrant any confidence that the claim is accurate.

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by neilzero View Post
    Here is one of the posts about a month ago:
    Quote Originally Posted by Bobunf View Post

    Paul Beardsley wrote, “it's news to me that, given the choice, women generally choose not to have children.”

    On average, an insufficient number of children to continue the species.

    A few examples:

    TOTAL FERTILITY RATES

    Year Brazil Japan Hungary Poland Switzerland Philippines China
    1950 5.93 3.66 . 2.62 . 3.71 . 2.40
    1960 6.06 2.02 . 2.02 . 2.98 . 2.34 . 6.46
    1970 5.33 2.09 . 1.96 . 2.20 . 2.09 . 5.80
    1980 4.09 1.75 . 1.92 . 2.28 . 1.54 . 4.96
    1990 2.56 1.52 . 1.86 . 2.04 . 1.61 . 4.12 . 2.18
    2000 2.13 1.36 . 1.25 . 1.38 . 1.47 . 3.48 . 1.72
    2013 1.81 1.39 . 1.41 . 1.32 . 1.53 . 3.10 . 1.55

    An equilibrium total fertility rate is about 2.1 live births per female--a little over two because only about 48% of births are female, and the mortality and infertility rate of females under 40 is greater than zero. If mortality due to childbirth is low, females constitute a majority of the population, even though more males are born, because the death rate for males exceeds that for females at nearly every age cohort for every racial group.

    If current fertility trends continue, population increase will slow to zero and become negative. Until the human population reaches zero in about 15 centuries. At that point humans will not use any resources.
    Yes and for Germany , Japan and Singapore the end is much sooner !

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Inclusa View Post
    We shouldn't struck into the mindset of traditional pregnancy, although so many pressures have hampered the development of full-fledged artificial womb.
    This is ultra puritanism ! What's so awfull about flesh ?

    And a remark : If artificial wombs are actually developped , the people produced will be just products owned by the master of the womb factory. They will be slaves. And I cannot see how this kind of development can peacefully occur.
    Last edited by galacsi; 2013-Jul-19 at 05:40 PM.

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by galacsi View Post
    And a remark : If artificial wombs are actually developped , the people produced will be just products owned by the master of the womb factory. They will be slaves. And I cannot see how this kind of development can peacefully occur.
    That's a major non sequitur.

    I'll grant you that it is a theoretical possibility in some hypothetical dystopian world that makes cyberpunk science fiction look like a utopian vision of the future, but for this slave factory scenario to actually occur in the real world, the values that virtually all cultures hold as sacred, especially in liberal democratic societies, would have to be completely absent. To put it mildly, I don't see that happening.

  5. #35
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    I do better with numbers than with math, so let's suppose the date is 4000, but only 1000 humans are still alive, due partly to low fertility rates in recent centuries, but also due to several recent disasters which have destroyed high tech and reduced the average life expectancy to about 300 years. The much longer (than 2013) life expectancy means there are only 20 women of child baring age and only one girl child younger than child baring age. Nobody knows how to operate the artificial womb, but they have 3 operable artificial nannies, but that will likely fall to zero before 4100, as no one knows how to build them or repair them, besides most everyone being intent on staying alive. Six of the women and some men have just formed a religious cult that believes each women should have ten children, but two of the women are unsuccessful even though they try to have babies. The other 14 women have no interest in having babies but one of them does produce a girl baby in 4004, bringing the total of girl children to 8 plus 3 that were born but died between 4001 and 4004 = the artificial wombs were more reliable than human females. You have to admit the population may not increase sufficiently to avoid serious inbreeding among the cult which is about as likely to not get more compliant female members. Worse the life expectancy for young females is declining and survivors are widely scattered about the world and what little high tech they have is beyond their ability to repair with rare exceptions. ET may have died out in similar scenarios. Neil
    Last edited by neilzero; 2013-Jul-20 at 03:06 AM. Reason: bringing not bring

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by galacsi View Post
    And a remark : If artificial wombs are actually developped , the people produced will be just products owned by the master of the womb factory. They will be slaves. And I cannot see how this kind of development can peacefully occur.
    My presumption is that they would be considered children of the biological parent or parents, as would clones, I assume.

    In any case, I think there would be tremendous technological hurdles.
    As above, so below

  7. #37
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    My presumption is that they would have Human (or Sentient) Rights by virtue of existing and being thinking beings, and being subject to slavery and all the rest is simply wrong.

    Slavery is officially illegal in all nations on Earth. It still happens, of course--so does everything illegal--but it's one of the most severe crimes on the books.

    In capitalist societies where parents can pass down currency or property to their progeny via wills, or whatever, then parental relationship laws would come into play, and it would have to be legally defined what it means to be a parent.

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    My presumption is that they would be considered children of the biological parent or parents, as would clones, I assume.
    Yes in the beginning ,when these artificial wombs just replace natural ones. But what if the eggs and sperm belong to a corporation ? I will stop there because this is going too far from the OP.

    In any case, I think there would be tremendous technological hurdles.
    I agree it would be extremely difficult to do , not only from a technological point of view , but also when one considers the multiple relations between the mother and the child.

  9. #39
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    Oh, come on!
    Except for a very few special, unfortunate cases of infertility who might need artificial wombs, no one will want to give up the old fashioned DiY way.
    It's so much fun!

    JOhn

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnD View Post
    Oh, come on!
    Except for a very few special, unfortunate cases of infertility who might need artificial wombs, no one will want to give up the old fashioned DiY way.
    It's so much fun!

    JOhn
    Presumably, consenting adults would still engage in the activity for recreation, but an embryo/fetus wouldn't ride around in a water-filled bag inside a woman for nine months. I'm sure women would enjoy not throwing up a lot, having to eat for two and get fat, being able to drink alcohol, and not going through a birthing process that is about the most painful experience that happens to people who aren't dying a horrific death.
    Last edited by SkepticJ; 2013-Jul-21 at 06:18 AM.

  11. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by galacsi View Post
    Yes in the beginning ,when these artificial wombs just replace natural ones. But what if the eggs and sperm belong to a corporation ?
    Well, people own their gametes. Sperm and eggs are sold by the people who make them to the people who want them, such as gamete banks.

    Children aren't a parent's property.

  12. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkepticJ View Post
    .

    Children aren't a parent's property.
    Very true. Parents don't have the right to own their children just because they produced them. It wouldn't be any different for any other case. You can't "own" a person whatever the circumstances.
    As above, so below

  13. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkepticJ View Post
    Presumably, consenting adults would still engage in the activity for recreation, but an embryo/fetus wouldn't ride around in a water-filled bag inside a woman for nine months. I'm sure women would enjoy not throwing up a lot, having to eat for two and get fat, being able to drink alcohol, and not going through a birthing process that is about the most painful experience that happens to people who aren't dying a horrific death.
    You are so right, SkepticJ, but still.
    As a male, I'm in no position to say. My partner didn't enjoy being pregnant, but she did it again, for me, us and ours.
    And the result is a whole heap of other troubles, for all of us, but that's a different discussion.
    So how to survey the Human Population's opinion?

    Google, for "Do women enjoy being pregnant?" and "Do women hate being pregnant?".
    Enjoy, 162 million hits
    Hate, 45 million.
    So on that basis, women enjoy preganancy four times more than hate it.

    There is already a contentious debate in obstetrics about "Caesarian Section on demand". Should surgeons concede to a mother's request for a CS, when there is no clinical indication? The UK NHS's NICE offers guidelines, principally to ensure that mothers are as fully infomred as possible. See: http://www.nice.org.uk/nicemedia/liv...7166/57166.pdf Page 4, "If you request..."
    That advice relies on enormous advances in the safety of CS in the last fifty years. So maybe, when similar advances in prosthetic uteri, placentae etc.etc, none of which has been started yet, have achieved similar safety levels, but not in my liifetime.
    JOhn
    John

  14. #44
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    Repairing the human body is STILL way bigger than the whole artificial womb issue; more things are at stake this way.
    For example, if we manage to replace lost limbs and organs (or repair all damaged ones to full functions), we will see a sharp drop in medical costs and long-term care.

  15. #45
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    Inclusa,
    All the new drugs that have been developed are extraordinarily expensive.
    Eg. In the UK leukotriene receptor antagonists are £1/tablet.
    and cytokine inhibitors £4-500 per fortnightly injection.
    Some anticancer drugs are tens of thousands of pounds for a course, that can add six weeks to life.

    While synthetic uteri are as far away as ever, eight uterus transplants have been carried out recently in Sweden: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-25716446

    John

  16. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Inclusa View Post
    Repairing the human body is STILL way bigger than the whole artificial womb issue; more things are at stake this way.
    For example, if we manage to replace lost limbs and organs (or repair all damaged ones to full functions), we will see a sharp drop in medical costs and long-term care.
    Replacing or repairing limbs and organs will themselves probably be long-term processes, and come with significant medical costs.

    Most longterm care is for illnesses such as cancers, not organ failure. Lost limbs require prosthetics and short-term physical therapy.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  17. #47
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    Removing organs and tissues and not replacing them with anything is pretty costly, I can't imagine a transplant situation, cost wise.
    Solfe

  18. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername
    Replacing or repairing limbs and organs will themselves probably be long-term processes, and come with significant medical costs.

    Most longterm care is for illnesses such as cancers, not organ failure. Lost limbs require prosthetics and short-term physical therapy.
    Please elaborate.

  19. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Inclusa View Post
    Please elaborate.
    You said that you'd see a "sharp drop" in medical costs and longterm care, but the example you gave was of expensive things that would require long-term care. And most medical costs and long-term care are from things not related to the problems you listed anyway. So I don't think you would see a sharp drop in either.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  20. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Solfe View Post
    Removing organs and tissues and not replacing them with anything is pretty costly, I can't imagine a transplant situation, cost wise.
    I had a kidney transplant. My medical costs are now about 25% of what they were before the transplant. Almost all of that cost was equipment and medication. Not hospital stays, outpatient care, or in-home visits.

    The operation equaled about 4 years of pre-transplant costs. If I had an exact match, my current costs would be even cheaper.

    If I had a transplant earlier, the damage to my other organs would have been lessened further lowering my costs.

    Yes; repairing organs is a major savings.
    As far as repairing limbs, I imagine it depends on what special allowances are needed without the limb.

  21. #51
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    I have read that a C-leg costs well over $50,000 and a basic artificial arm, without an elbow joint, about $10,000. Both need to be replaced about every five years. Most insurances don't cover these as they are considered capital items.
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  22. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by NEOWatcher View Post
    I had a kidney transplant. My medical costs are now about 25% of what they were before the transplant. Almost all of that cost was equipment and medication. Not hospital stays, outpatient care, or in-home visits.

    The operation equaled about 4 years of pre-transplant costs. If I had an exact match, my current costs would be even cheaper.

    If I had a transplant earlier, the damage to my other organs would have been lessened further lowering my costs.

    Yes; repairing organs is a major savings.
    Wow, that is pretty cool. I was thinking of only surgery costs alone.

    I have a friend who is going to need a kidney transplant soon, he is waiting for a match. The interesting thing about it is, when that happens, there is a really good chance he will no longer be diabetic. That is especially important to him, he is a baker who specializes in wedding cakes.
    Solfe

  23. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Solfe View Post
    The interesting thing about it is, when that happens, there is a really good chance he will no longer be diabetic.
    Don't count on it. One of the most important anti-rejection meds raises your sugar. I have to take an anti-diabetic to counter this effect.

    It's all going to be based on how good of a match, and whether other complications arise.

  24. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by NEOWatcher View Post
    Don't count on it. One of the most important anti-rejection meds raises your sugar. I have to take an anti-diabetic to counter this effect.

    It's all going to be based on how good of a match, and whether other complications arise.
    Yeah, I don't know very little about it. I guess I could be hearing hopes over reality. He has kids, wife and business, and that little detail would be awesome for him. He is pretty hopeful, so who am I to say anything?
    Solfe

  25. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Solfe View Post

    I have a friend who is going to need a kidney transplant soon, he is waiting for a match. The interesting thing about it is, when that happens, there is a really good chance he will no longer be diabetic. That is especially important to him, he is a baker who specializes in wedding cakes.
    I'm not sure why that would be, because diabetes isn't really a kidney disease, but rather a disease of either the pancreas or of cell metabolism. The kidney damage is a result rather than a cause, though I suppose there are feedback loops and maybe that's what he's talking about.
    As above, so below

  26. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    I'm not sure why that would be, because diabetes isn't really a kidney disease, but rather a disease of either the pancreas or of cell metabolism. The kidney damage is a result rather than a cause, though I suppose there are feedback loops and maybe that's what he's talking about.
    In this case, sometimes the pancreas comes with the kidneys. At least, this is how he explained it to me.
    Solfe

  27. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by swampyankee
    I have read that a C-leg costs well over $50,000 and a basic artificial arm, without an elbow joint, about $10,000. Both need to be replaced about every five years. Most insurances don't cover these as they are considered capital items.
    This is quite unfortunate, 'cause the prices for prosthetic have not dropped the way electronics do. That's exactly why regeneration medicine still gets a certain degree of public support.
    We aren't going to have the Ironman technology any time soon, though.

  28. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by Inclusa View Post
    This is quite unfortunate, 'cause the prices for prosthetic have not dropped the way electronics do. That's exactly why regeneration medicine still gets a certain degree of public support.
    We aren't going to have the Ironman technology any time soon, though.
    Prosthetic prices haven't dropped the way electronics do because of the quantities produced (among other things). Millions of iPhones are produced, for example, making it relatively cheap per unit. I'm pretty sure the number of prosthetics is a small fraction of that. Additionally, prosthetics are customized objects; you can't buy a generic artificial arm and just use it. They have to be fitted to each patient, who must undergo a lot of therapy and training to use it.
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  29. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swift
    Prosthetic prices haven't dropped the way electronics do because of the quantities produced (among other things). Millions of iPhones are produced, for example, making it relatively cheap per unit. I'm pretty sure the number of prosthetics is a small fraction of that. Additionally, prosthetics are customized objects; you can't buy a generic artificial arm and just use it. They have to be fitted to each patient, who must undergo a lot of therapy and training to use it.
    In spite of all the limitations of current prosthetics, we still try to improve them as much as possible since the regeneration route isn't going anywhere in the near future.

    The whole aging and aging population come with these scenarios:
    1) The age-old method of having a larger young population than the previous generation; this is exactly the scenario in many parts of Africa, but this will increase the population pressure even more.
    2) Voluntary euthanasia of terminally ill or extremely senescent people may improve the case a little, but not substantially; this is nonetheless controversial, but this may save funds and resources for other things.
    3) The case that aging can be reversed and negligible senescence is firmly in place; sadly, this scenario is unimaginable for most people.
    4) Continuous shrinkage of population due to falling birth rate; in most of the developed world (and some developing countries), once birth rate dropped below replaceable rate, it rarely picks up. The continuous aging and shrinking population may result in economic collapse and lowering stand of living, and this is what most linear thinking people envision. The case for artificial womb includes sufferings of women during pregnancy, environmental risks for embryos, and freedoms to choose time for children.

  30. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by Inclusa View Post
    In spite of all the limitations of current prosthetics, we still try to improve them as much as possible since the regeneration route isn't going anywhere in the near future.

    The whole aging and aging population come with these scenarios:
    1) The age-old method of having a larger young population than the previous generation; this is exactly the scenario in many parts of Africa, but this will increase the population pressure even more.
    2) Voluntary euthanasia of terminally ill or extremely senescent people may improve the case a little, but not substantially; this is nonetheless controversial, but this may save funds and resources for other things.
    3) The case that aging can be reversed and negligible senescence is firmly in place; sadly, this scenario is unimaginable for most people.
    4) Continuous shrinkage of population due to falling birth rate; in most of the developed world (and some developing countries), once birth rate dropped below replaceable rate, it rarely picks up. The continuous aging and shrinking population may result in economic collapse and lowering stand of living, and this is what most linear thinking people envision. The case for artificial womb includes sufferings of women during pregnancy, environmental risks for embryos, and freedoms to choose time for children.
    1.01^6000=8.477 × 10^25

    A one percent annual population growth over 6000 years causes a lot of population growth. If one multiplied that number by 50 kg it would be more than the mass of the earth. Why try! No matter what, I can't help but try.

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