Re: mitochondria and aging

From: Robert J. Bradbury (
Date: Tue Mar 14 2000 - 21:35:38 MST

On Tue, 14 Mar 2000, Spike Jones wrote:

> Turns out the problem was what
> amounted to the digestive system wearing out, caused by tooth loss,
> [snip]

Clearly a problem. Solved in Elephants and Sharks by having
ever-reproducing teeth (actually in elephants the process fails
after 10-20 "generations" and it is a major cause of elphant death).

Related to this is starvation among the "oldest-old" in western
civilizations where they can eat food (dentures work after-all),
but are unable to digest it effectively. IMO, more than likely
due to telomere loss slowing the replication of cells in the
stomach and small intestine leading to the accumulation of cells
that are rather dysfunctional with regard to nutrient absorption.

> So we supplied them with three things: a grinding wheel, a reverse
> osmosis water filter (which eliminated amoebiasis) and a supply of
> kaopectate, which prevented many infant deaths. In the long run
> the effect was to cause the population to increase beyond what
> that high desert location could support, and the young people
> began to drift off to Mexico City to lives of who knows what,
> but with their limited education of things modern (none), and
> lack of language skills they probably ended up as prostitutes
> or worse. We were debating discontinuing the effort when the
> only practical way into their mesa, an airplane, was stolen... spike

Spike, Spike, Spike, you just gotta get a script writer. This has
the same tragico-comedic line of several other films situated in
Mexico, "Dawn of the Dead" and "Desperado". You have to produce
a picture of this someday. I'll offer to play the role of the
technocrat who thinks tecnology will solve all the problems, only
to discover that solving one set leads to the creation of another
leading me to retire to reflect on the circular nature of life
on a beach in Costa Rica.


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