french at RUST.ZSO.DEC.COM french at RUST.ZSO.DEC.COM
Wed Mar 25 15:36:29 EST 1992

I am puzzled about two aspects of the free oxygen 
radical theory of ageing.

If ageing is caused by free oxygen radicals damaging 
our DNA, then why is it that most children are born 
without gross defects?  Is the hereditary DNA immune to 
free oxygen radical damage, or is there some repair 
mechanism that corrects the DNA coding errors introduced
by free radical damage?

Also, if free oxygen radicals introduce random errors in
our DNA, why are many aspects of ageing so predictable?
For example, baldness in men has been attributed to 
hereditary factors, not to random damage to our DNA.  
Does this mean that there are multiple mechanisms involved 
in ageing of which free oxygen radical damage is only one
such mechanism?  If so, what classes of ageing phenomena are 
due to free oxygen radical damage and which classes 
are due to other mechanisms?

- Larry French

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