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What are the Consequences of Perfect Healing?

Or stated another way, what short-to-mid term observable consequences would there be after altering a human being to be in a perfect state of health, either for the person being healed or external observers. I'm conceiving the tech doing the healing as scientifically-plausible-but-hyper-advanced nanotechnology, but other suggestions are welcome.

Assume that the person being healed is both unaware the healing took place (they were unconscious), that the person being healed is already in moderately good health/not ill or manifesting any obvious disorders, and that the person being healed is from a low tech (roughly early iron age equivalent) society where the idea of this kind of tech would be conceived of as magic. Let's also assume the person in question is young enough to not have significant signs of de-aging due to this healing process.

I'm here defining health as "optimal possible functionality of tissues/organs without significantly altering gross anatomical structure". I don't want to focus too much on the exact mechanisms of the healing, but the general outline of changes I envision, at a few different levels:

Genetic

  • Selective Telomere length manipulation (majorly elongating stem cell telomeres, optimizing length of other somatic cells)
  • Full nuclear and mitochondrial DNA repair (based on an assembled 'ideal' genome from polling multiple existing cells/library of gene alterations)
  • Removal of any known genetic diseases or major negative physical health predispositions
  • Repaired methylation profile

Somatic

  • Removal or repair of all cancerous cells, excess senescent cells, etc
  • Repair of non-cellular scaffolding (bone, cartilage, ligaments/tendons, collagen matrix, eye lens on a micro level)
  • Optimization of cell metabolism
  • Repair or forced replacement of damaged proteins
  • Removal of accumulated plaques (arterial, amyloid, etc.)

Organ / Organ system

  • Repair of small physical defects/damages (heart murmur, hernia, nerve damage, vascular damage)

Whole Organism

  • Repair of gross anatomical wounds
  • Removal of minor scars, bruising, injury

Crucially, this does not cover things like re-growing limbs or other fully amputated parts, recovery from full brain death, or major body recomposition (except where internal caloric stores are used as part of the energy powering the tech or building blocks for tissue). For instance, the subject would not have significantly more muscle fibers or cells than before healing, but those that exist would be very healthy, with no genetic damage, senescent cell burden, high and healthy mitochondrial count, optimally tuned insulin response, full adult stem cell population, and so on.

I should also note that the healing is a transient event, not a persistent effect that continues in any way, outside of the downstream consequences of such a healing.

I'm open to alternative interpretations of what Perfect Healing would mean, but I hope those rough guidelines help make suggestions more concrete.

tl;dr What changes would someone in antiquity notice if they were rendered unconscious and woke up perfectly healed in the short/mid term?

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  • $\begingroup$ It depends what their pre-healing state was - were they in good health, did they have scarring, were they in significant pain due to injury/disease before they were healed? $\endgroup$ Mar 31 at 1:31
  • $\begingroup$ @KerrAvon2055 good catch, my assumption is that they're in generally good health/not diseased previous to the healing - let me edit the question to reflect that $\endgroup$
    – A_K_M
    Mar 31 at 2:27

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They'd probably be taller, and have all their teeth, thicker hair, and possibly more fat and muscle. They might be missing aches and pains from poorly-healed fractures or the pulling from contractures of poorly-healed scar tissue. They might feel unusually energetic, like they'd just woken up from the best sleep of their life. If they're still in the place where they were perfectly healed, they might be very confused and frightened.

(I am reminded of the good old days of early Supernatural: "Brother! I have been rehymenated!" The character might consider themself a virgin again; their feelings about that might be comical like on the show, or religiously quite profound if that's a big deal in their culture.)

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  • $\begingroup$ I chortled aloud remembering "Brother! I have been rehymenated!", thank you for that and the response. That said, growing new teeth and getting taller fall under active regeneration/gross anatomical changes, which the question specifically prohibits - at least that was my intention, that this isn't any variety of 'super serum'. I do like 'feeling energetic', missing aches from removal of scar tissue and old fractures though! $\endgroup$
    – A_K_M
    Mar 31 at 2:47
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If we're applying this healing to people in the early iron age, it is reasonable to suppose that most people other than the very rich and privileged would have numerous scars, and even the privileged might have some. People would also be likely to have less than perfect vision, they may have skin tags or moles... there are any number of minor defects that people live with, especially in the iron age.

So, to have this extreme healing applied to a subject unawares, on waking they would likely notice almost immediately. They would no longer be suffering from the ever-present aches and pains that go with their lifestyles. Their cuts and bruises would be gone, and even their scars would be gone. Their vision would be as perfect as it could be, not necessarily as good as any human's has ever been, since the brain only develops to be able to process the information it receives and no more, but as good for that person as it has ever been at any distance. Moles, skin tags and other cancerous or pre-cancerous skin blemishes would be gone.

In general, the person so healed would likely both look and feel better than they could ever remember. Some of them might even be disturbed by how good their senses have become, how the environment of their body has become almost unfamiliar. If they were autistic and autism was characterised by this healing as something to be corrected, they might find that their entire outlook on life has changed, that they're no longer so interested in science, but are far more interested in other people. People with more serious genetic disorders such as Down's syndrome could be altered beyond recognition, at least internally.

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Aside from everything else, would that not cause the person to have a sudden (if short) burst of allergic reactions? If you healed their body entirely, , then the immune system is out of work for months. This tends to cause auto-immune effects go completely berserk, and react with allergic inflammation to just about anything from grapefruit to sunlight.

Sure, super-healing can likely also prevent auto-immune diseases, but this does not change the fact that it would be VERY uncomfortable for the patient.

Aside from all of this: the changes you proposed basically reset the ageing process entirely, so the patient will end up living far longer than normal (which might, or might not matter in your story).

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It depends on the situations they run in later. For example wounds that "heal" in humans with connective tissue- are never permanently healed. And if the repair mechanism runs into a under-supply of material, they reopen. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scurvy So these "hidden" wounds would be gone.

It might also result in a psychological change, if you consider personality scars by experiences as wounds.

Implants or bullets might be removed from the body, benign elements like cysts or cancers might be gone and with them weight. Surgery to alternate appearances, like cosmetic surgery, ritualized excisions or just earrings may become undone completely. The appendix might grow back.

If the healing process is "dumb" it might also heal things, that are out of place. Have liver cancer metastasis allover the body? Congratulations you have now a thousand micro-livers allover your body.

Depending if you see age inflicted on the body as a wound- a rejuvenation may be experienced. Hair would come back, hearing and sight would improve. Due to the youthful setup of the body, all the existential fear experiences of puberty might return.

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