medical attitudes towards aging: an ongoing evolution

Doug Skrecky oberonSPAMBLOCK at vcn.bc.ca
Thu May 12 07:50:06 EST 2005


"Scientific American Special Edition: The Science of Staying Young"
     With high hopes, I eagerly paged through this. A few years ago I
doubt Scientific American would have even considered producing such a
special edition. Unfortunately, the conservative cast of the editors was
still all too evident in their selection of the authors for some of the
articles. I'm sorry to say that Thomas Donaldson was not selected to write:
"The serious search for an Antiaging pill". There  was no discussion of
chromium picolinate, about resveratrol and sirtuins, etc. Instead there
was only a brief talk about 2-deoxy-D-glucose, and how dangerous it was.
Oh well, at least some of the other articles did prove to be more
interesting. I still recommend this edition.
    I was surprised to see an article entitled "This Man Would Have You
Live a Really, Really, Long Time" in the June 21, 2004 edition of Fortune
magazine. This was an article about Aubry de Grey, of Methuselah Mouse
Prize fame. Quotable quote: "As to the question of like becoming so long
that it loses its meaning, De Grey has a response that's truly guaranteed
to silence critics: If you don't want to try it, you can simply reject
rejuvenation therapy and fade away."
    More recently In the January 2005 issue of Popular Science, there was
an article entitled, "The Prophet of Immortality" featuring De Grey yet
again. I conclude that although Scientific American is unlikely to run a
Special Edition on him any time soon, De Grey does have the ability to
attract the attention of other journalists. He collapses aging to seven deadly
sins:                 [Q:What causes presbyopia?]
1. Cell loss [I suppose this can be mainly attributed to P16 related
   proliferation defects.]
2. Cell senescence [Anticancer P16 at work again?]
3. Lysosomal junk [A few months ago, extra-mitochondrial cardiolipin was
   found to be a powerful driver of cell senescence.]
4. Extracellular junk [Vitamin K2 may be effective in cleaning arteries.]
5. Sugar-Protein molecular bonds [Of concern to diabetics.]
6. Mitochondrial DNA mutations  [controversal]
7. Nuclear DNA mutations [Fortunately there's lots of funding for cancer
   research.]

 Finally in a recent Vancouver Sun newspaper was an article entitled
"Genetics could raise average lifespan to 150 years". Dr Bob Roberts,
president of the Ottawa Heart Institute was quoted thusly: "The average
lifespan in 50 years will be 150 years". Sounds like De Grey has a fellow
traveller.




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