Colleges that have aging research programs

Ken Sweeney vitaken at usa.net
Fri Dec 25 03:00:23 EST 1998


Pascal,
	categorically similar, I've had a difficult time finding support for my
interest in aging (or worry about longevity).  Thus, I've developed a
personal program which has evolved through my use of a simple four year
with no big help.  
  You must answer for yourself, what route would be best for you; the
biology of aging is very, very general.  I can tell you about my own
route, in hopes of finding some assistance, as mine is less than simple.
  One idea to keep in mind, as you are floating through the internet and
school, is that nutrition is only assistance for the body's subsystems. 
There are chemical errors that occur which can not be affected by one's
supplementation.  This problem is the one which I've decided to take on.
  Telomeres are very important, but the subsystem is (relatively)
simple, and is far from all encompassing.
  One primary problem which I've yet to hear of a method of solution is
that of the disorder which disturbs layers of tissue through the body
with age.  Humans begin life with clear layers of cells, all very
organized and repetitive.  Through disease, cell death, and tiny
cancers, though, these tight layers are disrupted and give rise to
sometimes tremendous inefficiencies, in a number of ways, but I digress.
  Another problem which plagues my mind is that of neuronal death.  If
you're a junior in college, you probably already know that the
well-formed pathways of brain and spinal cord deteriorate with time,
giving rise to senilities and memory loss.  These neurons may be
replaced, though, by methods similar to that of development (at least in
some respects).  There are some who have hypothesized that neurons, when
connected through synapses, leave some marks on each other.  If such
marks could be tracked and reconnected, many problems would be solved. 
There are also genetic tendencies which, when coupled with (some degree
of) random connections and external memory 'refreshers' could give rise
to mental capacities reaching far beyond present expectations.

  And we come to my own priorities, which are much further inclusive
than this short letter.
  Personally, I believe that the only way that anybody will have
indefinite death will be if we master the art of cell engineering.  The
first step in mastering cell engineering, though, is mastering protein
engineering.  I'm sure you realize the difficulty, and some of the
implications, so I'll resist the urge.  Realize, though, that as an
undergraduate sophmore at Wright State University of Dayton, Ohio, that
I am double majoring in chemistry and computer engineering, and in any
spare time (that I can 'steal' from my girlfriend), I work practically
alone in a lab on a 100K computer system, mastering molecular dynamics
with thoughts on protein engineering.

  G'luck,

    Deacon Sweeney

PS, look at John's Hopkins.  I like to think that Wright State will
eventually, but it's not very special right now.




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