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Antiaging Research Priorities [was Re: Major Criticisms of

David Lloyd-Jones dlj at pobox.com
Tue Sep 22 06:49:46 EST 1998

Tom Mahoney writes:

>Telomeres have the potential of being the cellular clock for the production
>of hormones and enzymes over the course of aging as demonstrated when the
>introduction of hTRT allows the cell to express a phenotypically youthful
>state.  Additional research showing telomeres to be involved in the
>transcriptional silencing of various genes suggest the mechanism by which
>this could occur.

Andrew Mason makes similar claims in my today's mail.

This may very well turn out to be the case.  I dunno. But it doesn't seem
terribly likely to me. Bricks may hold a building up, but they don't
determine the building's useful lifetime.

 It seems to me a general truth that large complex systems are governed by
conditions and structures at either the whole-system level or at some quite
high level of sophistication among the interacting subsystems. (Often, of
course, "systems" are governed by their environments, which means that the
actual system operating is broader than was originally thought.)

It has been fashionable lately to look at humans as vehicles for carrying
genes around, but surely people should remember that "two siblings, eight
cousins" started out as Haldane's joke in a bar. It has its truth, but that
truth is not universal.


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