Date: Sun Jun 11 2000 - 07:56:23 MDT

In a message dated 6/7/00 2:53:03 AM Central Daylight Time, writes:

> 1) The authors measured messenger RNA levels in actively
> dividing fibroblasts isolated from young, middle-age, and old-age
> humans and humans with progeria. Messenger RNA levels were
> analyzed with high-density *oligonucleotide arrays containing
> probes for more than 6000 known human genes.
> 2) The authors report their results suggest that an altered
> expression profile of genes involved in mitosis occurs with age,
> and that these changes result in increased rates of *somatic
> mutation, leading to numerical and structural *chromosome
> aberrations and mutations that manifest themselves as an aging
> phenotype.
> 3) The authors suggest that these chromosome pathologies,
> which begin to occur in dividing cells relatively early in life
> (but in the postreproductive stage), may lead to misregulation of
> key structural, signaling, and metabolic genes associated with
> the aging phenotype, such as the apparent misregulations
> characteristic of *osteoporosis, *Alzheimer's disease,
> *arthritis, etc. Misregulation of this sort is expected to
> increase in each round of cell division, and it may be propagated
> to other normal mitotic cells (e.g., *leukocytes, *epithelial
> cells, *glial cells, etc.) and postmitotic cells (e.g., neurons,
> muscles, etc.) through changes in the *extracellular matrix and
> oxidized fatty acid derivatives that affect signaling pathways.
> Aging, the authors suggest, may therefore occur gradually and in
> mosaic patterns, rather than as a uniform phenomenon
> characteristic of cancerous growth (which is clonal -- deriving
> from a single mutated progenitor cell)

This seems to be a very fruitful line of research that may lead to a good
insight consistent with the common sense experience of aging as a
deterioration of many bodily functions and structures on a broad front at
different rates. Assuming this is borne out, what kinds of strategies to
combat this phenomena occurr to our resident biomed experts?

       Greg Burch <>----<>
      Attorney ::: Vice President, Extropy Institute ::: Wilderness Guide -or-
                                           ICQ # 61112550
        "We never stop investigating. We are never satisfied that we know
        enough to get by. Every question we answer leads on to another
       question. This has become the greatest survival trick of our species."
                                          -- Desmond Morris

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