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Telomeric Theory - Growth Factors

James james at nospam.com
Tue Sep 29 11:48:21 EST 1998

Aubrey de Grey wrote:
> James wrote:
> > James me?
> I was referring (as was Andrew) to this:
> > > If aging was a throat infection anti-oxidants, caloric restriction,
> > > and beneficial nutrients would be a throat losenge. But telomeric
> > > therapy to elongate the telomeres would be an anti-biotic.
> >
> > Uh... yeah, right.  An antibiotic that you can't deliver where it needs
> > to go, and that causes cancer, and that isn't effective on many of the
> > strains that could be causing your sore throat anyway.

Oh, OK.  I wasn't really trying to be rigorous there - just
point out that that was kind of a silly analogy.

> James also wrote:
> > I'm not even sure that the "making the best of a bad lot" argument holds
> > water, for two reasons:  One, things in the wild don't really do CR, they
> > just starve.  Two, while mice have a short enough lifespan to have this be
> > plausible, longer-lived mammals do not.  Unless it is just random
> > evolutionary conservation there is no reason that this phenomenon should
> > apply to animals with multi-decade lifespans, as any period of starvation
> > would be inconsequential to the overall length of their reproductive
> > period.
> I don't think this follows.  The "making the best of a bad lot" argument
> applies mainly to mild food shortages over long periods, not to really
> severe shortages over short periods.  The long periods can be arbitrarily
> long -- a decade seems quite likely enough to be evolutionarily relevant.

I'm not the expert on this, but this topic has been
discussed in the group before.  I got the impression that it
was felt that seasonal food shortages (maybe 6 months at a
time max) were the only reasonable situation that this
arguament was applied to.  I wouldn't call a 60% reduction
in calories "a mild food shortage", and there is still no
reason to think that they would be eating a nutritionally
dense diet.  Comments Brian?

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