Nature article

Aubrey de Grey ag24 at mole.bio.cam.ac.uk
Wed Nov 24 18:19:10 EST 1999


Paul Brookes wrote:

> Something that is becoming very clear, and which got a lot of attention
> at the Oxygen Society meeting in new Orleans last weekend, is the
> notion that low levels of oxidants such as NO and H2O2 are beneficial,
> can inhibit apoptosis, and are very effective at inducing antioxidant
> synthesis pathways.

Yeah - the word "hormesis" is becoming popular enough to use at Medline.
The upper limit of such approaches in vivo is in doubt, of course.

> There was a whole session on free radicals and ageing, and a lot of 
> stuff on the role of mitochondria, but nobody mentioned Aubrey's book.

Yes -- a week later and there would have been flyers for it.  I'd have
been there myself, but at the Gerontological Society of America meeting
there were two sessions on free radicals/mitochondria and ageing, and
I was chairing/organising the early one (Saturday) whereas Raj managed
to wangle his one late enough that he could fly in from New Orleans on
Sunday night (with a lot of other delegates).  There is much gnashing
of teeth that these two meetings always clash.

> It seemed 
> to me that a lot of the work was based on correlations between factor
> X and ageing, but there wasn't really a lot of evidence for cause and
> effect relationships.

Ain't that the truth!  There is always the option of evidence AGAINST
certain cause and effect relationships, though - I gave something of a
sermon at the GSA on underappreciation of so-called "negative results"
in this regard, such as the telomerase and CuZnSOD knockout mice.

> The best question of the conference was in reference to Raj' Sohal's
> work on drosophila longevity....  "these flies that live longer - are
> they any happier?"

Priceless.  I trust he replied "You see, they were not participating
voluntarily in the first place..."

Aubrey de Grey





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