Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
Scientists reverse aging process in rat brain stem cells (medicalxpress.com)
105 points by lelf 61 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 16 comments



The cell's ability to mechanically sense it's surroundings is fascinating. There is an old paper from 2006 in Cell that was similar to this study in that it showed onencould direct stem cell differentiation down different lineages purely by growing the cells on different stiffness substrates. Definitely worth a read of you are interested in this topic:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/16923388/


Say what you want about its applicability to human subjects, the quality of life for lab mice and rats has increased significantly in the last 50 years!


Considering this study probably involved slicing open hundreds of rat heads, I think us humans being interested in neurons more now vs. 50 years ago, has only made things worse for them. Although 50 years ago they likely suffered more amputations and the like.


Well, it's a strange issue. Without such testing, they wouldn't exist at all. So, is a life of, maybe okay but maybe awful lab testing better than none at all?

On a human level, we generally value being alive no matter the conditions, e.g., debilitating illness, chronic pain, etc., over not being alive. Of course there are exceptions like euthanasia, which are relatively rare. So why not apply that ethical equation to lab animals as well?

I'm just hypothesizing here. I don't particularly like animal testing, think its cruel, think it may be necessary, think it's a morally ambiguous situation, etc. Which is to say it's a complicated topic.


Luckily, work is being done to emulate various human organs [0] so that we can move away from animal testing.

[0] https://newatlas.com/organs-on-chips-testing/33337/


> Without such testing, they wouldn't exist at all. So, is a life of, maybe okay but maybe awful lab testing better than none at all?

There's no experience of any kind related to not existing in the first place, so the two options are completely orthogonal. It's like asking whether you'd suffer from your parents never having met.


> There's no experience of any kind related to not existing in the first place, so the two options are completely orthogonal. It's like asking whether you'd suffer from your parents never having met.

I agree with your first statement that not existing in the first place means that you don't have the capacity (or burden) to regret or cherish that existence.

The second statement is a little bit more nuanced, because assuming you derive happiness from your existence, and you already exist, you'd not have been able to experience the happiness if your parents didn't meet, therefore you'd suffer a net loss. I realie that there's a bit of circular logic in there of course, hence why I condition the assertion on the fact that you already do exist and therefore can make a judgement whether you'd prefer to exist or not.


Hardly orthogonal: better to exist in suffering or not exist is rather acutely the topic of interest to those contemplating suicide.


Again, two different things - ending an existence, versus there being no existence to begin with.

Conflating the two makes one argue ethics from a realm of infinite possibilities instead of focusing on reality, which doesn't really make for great moral choices. For instance, should people have as much unprotected sex as possible, without any regard to their or their offspring's well-being, just to give the most children the chance to exist?


We can dismiss it as not particularly useful but it does contribute to human knowledge.

Most of us contribute much less to the body of human knowledge.


How is it not useful? It is a required step in order to develop human-working remedies. You can't just skip it because no one is going to experiment on humans directly (well, dependent on the risk).


On the ones that survive?


Did they reverse the aging process, or just trick the cells into thinking they were in a less stiff environment?

Does disabling Piezo1 have any side effects? I am guessing there is a reason for it. Might be more applicable in severe MS than aging.


Interested in the implications of this in context of concussions.


I, for one look forward to serving our new Rat overlords...


Not here, please.




Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: