Telomeric Theory - Growth Factors

Aubrey de Grey ag24 at mole.bio.cam.ac.uk
Tue Sep 29 07:58:16 EST 1998


James wrote:

> James me?

I was referring (as was Andrew) to this:

> > If aging was a throat infection anti-oxidants, caloric restriction,
> > and beneficial nutrients would be a throat losenge. But telomeric
> > therapy to elongate the telomeres would be an anti-biotic.
> 
> Uh... yeah, right.  An antibiotic that you can't deliver where it needs
> to go, and that causes cancer, and that isn't effective on many of the
> strains that could be causing your sore throat anyway.

James also wrote:

> I'm not even sure that the "making the best of a bad lot" argument holds
> water, for two reasons:  One, things in the wild don't really do CR, they
> just starve.  Two, while mice have a short enough lifespan to have this be
> plausible, longer-lived mammals do not.  Unless it is just random
> evolutionary conservation there is no reason that this phenomenon should
> apply to animals with multi-decade lifespans, as any period of starvation
> would be inconsequential to the overall length of their reproductive
> period.

I don't think this follows.  The "making the best of a bad lot" argument
applies mainly to mild food shortages over long periods, not to really
severe shortages over short periods.  The long periods can be arbitrarily
long -- a decade seems quite likely enough to be evolutionarily relevant.

Aubrey de Grey



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