Friday, May 02, 2008

Health: Genes

In one of my previous health posts I talked about continually focussing on new challenges in the journey of better health. After being driven by external indicators on our body (like dresses), then we are driven by indicators a layer below those (naked body), then we are driven by those a layer further below (organs like heart, kidneys, pancreas, brain etc.). Now it's time to dig deeper!

The whole point of seeking knowledge is trying to increase the odds of survival in odd times. The more variables we uncover the more we discover that we have lot more to uncover! But we can atleast try to make sure we can rationally handle the ones we uncover. Health science progressed a lot. The role of genes in health is quite an integral part of our intellectual heritage now. There's a lot to discovered about genes but one thing is sure about them: they are programmable, that is they are Turing tapes of a non-deterministic Turing machine. Their states can sometimes be non-deterministically changed (mutations) but they are pretty much "rule oriented". The rest of the body is like the console system (input/output device set) for the basic computations happening on those tapes. The important point is that we can write input onto those tapes. In fact without this ability the concept of evolution is infeasible! Let's try to see what we can do try to write good stuff (stuff that helps us survive) onto those.

First we should not write bad stuff! It is known that carcinogens can seriously screw up the tapes that screws up cell dynamics which can lead to cancer. So obviously don't smoke and in a bigger picture be friendly to the environment both in terms of recycling and using Nature friendly energy sources like hybrid cars, electric trains or in the worst case if you have to rely on gas use mass transportation or pool up. Don't stick to your cell phones all the time! Use them reasonably. Use hands-free devices and keep them a bit far when you work. Do not consume "diet stuff" in excess. It's good to take safe sides on such issues.

Now about writing good stuff. It is well known that writing bug free programs is very hard. So it's not a good idea drying to actually manipulate the genes using some kind of external agents (excluding the cases where it's treatmental for immediate survival). The best programmer of genes so far is Nature itself. What we can do is "ask" Nature to do the job for us. Let's say if we want to write a certain piece of code with which we can be naturally smart, we just constantly try to do smart things consciously and then it will be embedded into your genes by Nature over a period of time. If we want to be naturally peaceful practicing medidation would have the same effect. Beware that period of time might be a really long! But good thing is we at least don't make them worse in such a way. To see the effects of such really long-term plans we have to try to make sure humanity survives!

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