The Policy of Minimal Interference

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As previously discussed in Aging as Error Accumulation and Aging Elimination as Error Correction, it is instructive to view aging as error accumulation and aging elimination as of error correction. The error correction is mediated by information vectors. Information vectors may be viewed as a generic class of processes or entities which includes DNA computing and molecular repair nanotechnology. It is easy to imagine these information vectors as miniaturized robots or, generally, entities of composition and processes foreign to human physiology.

But the human body, by virtue of the host of complex mechanisms which define it, possesses intrinsic intelligence or body intelligence. The Policy of Minimum Interference (PMI) advances that in the construction of information vectors, one should exhaust body intelligence before venturing beyond. Body intelligence may be classed as either Type I or composition body intelligence, or Type II or process body intelligence.

Applying PMI with respect to Type I body intelligence requires that information vectors be constructed out of endogenous biological components  i.e. ribosomes, oligonucleotides, polypeptides, lipids etc. This application of PMI does not require conformity with process i.e. processes incorporated in information vectors may be foreign to the human body. Applying PMI with respect to Type II body intelligence does not require that information vectors meet the aforementioned composition constraint but requires adherence to the process constraint i.e. it mandates the employment of endogenous biological processes (DNA replication, transcription, translation etc.) Application of PMI may also occur with respect to both Type I and Type II body intelligence – both composition and process. It is this form of the PMI which is in effect when it is pronounced that “in the construction of information vectors, one should exhaust body intelligence before venturing beyond.”

The rationale for the PMI rests on a profound confidence in the efficacy of the evolutionary process to proffer solutions to biological problems. Nature – in the form of biological systems – represents a vast repository of ready-made solutions and it is in the interest of biomedical gerontologists to avail themselves of this boon. As a guiding policy, the PMI is also well-aligned with the biocompatibility requirement of life extending therapies and promises an added efficacy in so far as efficacy is reliant on biocompatibility.     

It must be emphasized that, in the construction of information vectors, the PMI advocates merely that one should apply the principle as far as possible; not that one should not violate the principle. In the correction of the aging problem, it is necessary that we go beyond body intelligence.

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