Re: Hayflick and others deny major life expectancy improvements

From: Alex Future Bokov (
Date: Mon Feb 19 2001 - 14:39:32 MST


On Mon, 19 Feb 2001, John Clark wrote:

> Alex Future Bokov <> Erote:
> >aging is not a single programmed pathway we can interfere in.
> We can in worms. Just one mutation can nearly double its lifetime, the only known
> drawback is a slight inefficiency in food metabolism, but that may be enough
> for evolution to select against it. Evolution has its opinion on what's a good gene
> and I have mine, personally I don't see it as a big problem nowadays, people
> are too fat anyway.

I know, I breed these worms. Unfortunately, unlike them, humans don't have
a dauer larva stage. ;-)

Another, subtler point is that small animals have greater environmental risks,
and therefore no evolutionary pressure for optimizing their survival mechanisms
past a certain point. In long-lived animals, one could make the argument that
those survival mechanisms have already been optimized, and it's a different
set of -=organism-level=- processes that kills us. In other words, if you
want to know what genetic changes are needed to make humans longer lived, you
might be better off studying tortoises than worms. Yes, that is an
oversimplification (and one PITA of a model system!). My point is that though
worms, yeast, fruit flies, and mice can teach us a lot, the results aren't
always directly and immediately applicable to humans.

- --

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