Re: Cornering the causes of aging (was Re: AGING: Accumulation of DNAdamage)

From: Damien Broderick (
Date: Fri Jun 30 2000 - 21:13:23 MDT

At 12:30 PM 30/06/00 +0800, Joao Pedro de Magalhaes wrote:

>But how do you explain that [senescence cascades] occur in mice after 3
years and in humans
>after 60? Something is the timekeeper of these events.

One would think so, but--

>Werner's syndrome is caused by one single gene. This alone rules out the
>possibility that all age-related pathologies cannot have an upstream
>regulator. In addition, it also provides strong evidence that other simple
>(probably not with just one gene but a few more) mechanisms can be upstream
>of most, if not all, aging pathologies.

Trouble with this suggestion (which I hope is correct!) is that we don't
know of any individual humans--the species best able to take care of itself
via foresight, etc--who have escaped fatality with lucky mutations. Or are
they in hiding (as in Poul Anderson's novel THE BOAT OF A MILLION YEARS)?
Or haven't there been enough humans around at any one time until lately for
them to emerge and then survive in the midst of plagues, wars, starvation,
etc? Are the mutational immortals all under 10 years of age, most of them
in China and India?

Damien Broderick

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