Antiaging Research Priorities [was Re: Major Criticisms of

David Lloyd-Jones dlj at
Mon Sep 21 13:30:23 EST 1998

Andrew Mason sensibly wrote:

>>Telomeres are having a tremendous amount of interest focussed on them by
>>research community. This is because they show promise in the diagnosis and
>>treatment of both AIDS and cancer. I suspect the work required to test and
>>support or disprove the telomere theory of aging will be done in the next
>>few years. If positive results do eventuate you can be sure the research
>>will take off by itself, as drug companies begin to appreciate the profit
>>potential of a drug or therapy that could make the demand for viagra seem

I think this set of strategies is plausible as far as it goes -- but it only
goes as far as cellular health. All "organisms", which is to say anything
bigger than your friendly local e. coli, are alliances of cells, in the good
metaphor of Lynn Margolis and her co-workers. Aging, it seems to me is as
much or more an attribute of the alliance as it is of the individual cells.

Thus cellular health would seem necessary but not sufficient for
life-extension at the level of, say, the large mammal.

Hence endocrinological strategies would seem to me to be a good place to
look. (Sez the guy who made a fool of himself by writing in a moment of
pique against the idea of mebabolic individuality a couple of weeks ago.
:-) )  The essence of any alliance is the communication between the members,
and for the body as a whole the endocrine system seems to be all the major
media. The nerves may carry the mail, but the enzymes write the legislation
and negotiate the treaties.


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