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CR and rate of maturation

Aubrey de Grey ag24 at mole.bio.cam.ac.uk
Tue Sep 29 07:51:40 EST 1998

Brian Manning Delaney wrote:

> By shifting the criteria of success to the alteration of the
> _genetic_ cause of aging you're begging one of the very
> questions that were on the table in this discussion.

This brings to mind a related question about whether CR really extends
mice's maximum lifespan all that much.  The mice used for typical CR
experiments have been bred in captivity for many generations, and may
therefore have been quite heavily selected for rapid maturation.  If we
accept the evolutionary link between the rate of maturation and the
rate of aging, and if such selection has indeed occurred, then control
animals in CR experiments may be shorter-lived than those in the wild
for genetic, rather than environmental, reasons.  CR may then induce
metabolic changes that compensate for the genetic predisposition to
mature fast and die young, but which might have much less effect on a
genetically longer-lived mouse.  In this context, the life-extension
resulting from human CR may depend less on whether we eat more than is
best and more on whether we have selected ourselves for accelerated

This argument is not new but I am unsure of its current status.  Brian,
I would be interested in your view.

Aubrey de Grey

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