Telomeric Theory - Related Reseach - Mitochondria

Tom Matthews tmatth at netcom.ca
Thu Oct 1 15:56:49 EST 1998


Excelife wrote:

> A much more detailed explanation of Aubrey de Greys' ideas and proposals are
> available at a site hosted by Brian Rowley.  The URL is;
> 
> http://faculty.ucr.edu/~browley/mtchndr.htm

I have just read this article (really just a good summary) and have some
questions.

In the summary Aubrey wrote:

>The manipulation of electrons by the respiratory chain is imperfect: a few
>percent of them are "fumbled", becoming available to other molecules [2].

1. Is this "fumbling" pure chance?
2. Is the percentage reasonably constant for all mitochondria in all
cell of a given individual?
3. Does the percentage vary between individuals?
4. If it varies not by pure chance, has any research been done to
determine what are the causes of variation?
 
>Superoxide, then, is a free radical, and may react with DNA and proteins.
>Also, it can change into other free radicals that are even nastier: they
>damage lipids, the molecules that make up membranes.  This reaction, called
>lipid peroxidation, is particularly insidious, because it can "branch" --

Would it be accurate to say that a prooxidant is something which creates
one or more free radicals or converts weak ones into stronger (nastier)
ones or into more of the same strength (ie increases the total weighed
free radical strength), whereas an antioxidant is something which
eliminates one or more free radicals or converts stronger ones into
weaker ones (ie decreases the total weighed free radical strength)?

>Mitochondrial damage accumulates, but even at death
>it still affects (albeit very seriously) under 1% of our mtDNA.

Has anyone given thought to the possibility of a chemical or virus
directed attempt to kill off these damaged mitochondria (before they
dominate a cell) so that they would be naturally replaced by the
remaining fully functional ones? If this were possible, then everyone
could be truly "rejuvenated" periodically.

--Tom 
Tom Matthews
 
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