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Telomeric Theory - Those Damn Mice

Aubrey de Grey ag24 at mole.bio.cam.ac.uk
Wed Sep 9 17:34:25 EST 1998

Tom Mahoney wrote:

> I do want to emphasize that the methods of gene interactions with the
> telomeres and that only specific chromosomes are involved in senescence
> are conjectures and hypothesises and are not an integral part of the
> telomeric theory.  I suggested them as examples of how these processes
> might work ... most likely a simpler and more elegant explanation will
> be forthcoming.

No!  Those hypotheses were not integral parts of the telomeric theory
until Greider's work, but they are now, because (as this discussion has
shown) they are logically *required* in order to explain the knockout
mouse data in the context of the telomeric theory.  The assertion that
Greider's results kill that theory stone dead is unfounded, I agree; but
her results are far more parsimoniously explained by the hypothesis that
telomere loss has nothing to do with aging than by your hypotheses, so they
unquestionably constitute a reduction in the plausibility of the telomere
theory.  It is thus downright misleading to say that questions arising
from Greider's data have been answered in favor of the telomeric theory.

Aubrey de Grey

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