>> On Saturday, September 04, 1999 10:48 A.M. >> Brian Manning Delaney email@example.com wrote: >> (Far more forgivable than my obnoxiousness!)
> No problem. I dish it out and I can take it too.:)
> Not that I'd want to encourage it.
>>> Of course, you can do everything else that is >>> easier than CR and hope to live long enough for >>> the research to pay off -- or for your favorite >>> future scenario (nanotech, AI, farming cloned >>> organs, uploading, etc.) to come to pass. >> Yes, though my question is about the warrant for>> the hope, and the _degree_ to which we can hope, >> that is: numbers, dates, probabilities, etc.
> Hmm. I don't have any numbers and I'm not
> prepared to guess... but why should that stop me.
> Look at the past 2 decades' advances in chemical
> life extension. Certainly, there are more
> strategies around now and a better understanding
> of the chemical basis of aging.
It is definitely a very exciting time for anti-aging research (and much else!). But I think the second thing you point to -- the better understanding of the chemical basis of aging -- is the only one of the two advances you mention that's true. As for strategies, what do we have now that we didn't have in 1979? There are some new _putative_ anti-aging strategies, but, as the relative brevity of my list shows, there's not much. Melatonin doesn't do a lot, there are a lot of negative Deprenyl studies, and despite the promise of PBN it needs more verification. A lot of these supposed anti-aging treatments will lower our chances of getting cancer and heart disease, but won't slow aging much, if at all.
The failure of the advances in knowledge to be matched by advances in anti-aging _treatment_ is worrying (and annoying). Perhaps Robert Bradbury can give us his words of wisdom on this, if he's tuning in.
> Also, the human genome project is already paying
> off in identifying many genetic roots of various
> diseases. I believe this project will be
> complete around 2002. That doesn't mean all the
> data will be analyzed by them, but a lot of the
> analysis proceeds with the mapping. Nor is all
> of aging just a matter of genes -- or so I've
> been led to believe.:/
The genome project will definitely help. But, again, how do we know that knowledge of how to intervene won't lag radically behind knowledge of what it is in which we need to intervene?
> Add to this that computer processing power is
> increasing, which will allow us to better
> model biochemistry as well as [...]
> Hopefully, such models will make testing
> therapies much quicker. Late last year/early
> this year, I wanted to create a simple computer
> model of a cell with the express purpose of
> modeling aging, then using virtual strategies --
> even random generated ones -- to combat aging.
> Such a model would be easier than modeling the
> whole body. We need not have a perfect model --
> that would be an oxymoron, right?:) -- just one
> that works and can be incremenatally improved.
This is a _great_ idea!!
> It could be a great project for any who'd like
> to work on it with me, though my skills are not
> in biochemistry but in process organization and
I would love to help -- and did both AI work and bio. (but not much) at the beginning of my meandering academic life --, but I won't have time for about 6-9 months. But I think this is a _really_ good idea.
> I'd also like to know if
> anyone else is working on such already.
That I don't know. I'll ask around.
The one (other) question about the viability of such a project that I can think of is whether or not it would make sense to do it before the genome project is completed. (Afterwards, it definitely would make sense.)
>> If we knew with a high degree of probability >> that the research was going to pay off within, >> say, ten years, then many people would decide >> doing CR now wouldn't be worth it (though the >> disease-prevention effect might motivate some to >> stay on it until the pill is available). The >> reasoning might be: "Yes, it means losing ~1-2 >> years as a result of five years of non-CR, but, >> starting in 2009, I'm aging at a CR rate again, >> so will likely make it to 2025, when I'm aging >> even more slowly (better pill/injection/suspended >> animation/whatever), which in turn means I'm >> even more likely to make it to 2040..., etc.
> I am aware that CR studies seem to show an
> increase maximum lifespan, but do they show
> increased longevity at every turn?
Yes, as a fairly consistent percentage of expected remaining years.
> I'm aware there's a certain window of
> opportunity -- late adolescene/early adulthood,
> I believe -- and the effect tends to decline
> with age.
The decline is only in absolute number of years gained, not as a percentage.
> But what I mean is does CR also have an impact
> on early and middle age causes of death or just
> late age causes of death? It would seem it has
> an overall impact, but I'd like to be sure.
Definitely all, in the lab animals. Some early life causes of death in humans wouldn't be affected, of course -- like car accidents.... (But you might be less likely to fall asleep at the wheel; on the other hand, the smell of the fast food places becomes MUCH more distracting, and also more perceptible, interestingly.)
> Also, CR has been studied up and down in animals
> of very different species, from rats to spiders,
> I believe, but has there really been any
> extensive, long-term study of it in humans?
> To my knowledge, there has not, but am I correct?
You're correct. There have been a few short-term experiments (using biomarkers as endpoints), and a few long-term epidemiological studies, but that's it. But the primate studies are beginning to show the same results seen in the rodent studies. It's pretty clear that it's a trans-species phenomenon.
> Though I've every confidence in CR in
> humans, I'd hate to find out it doesn't work in
> our species and people like Brian are wasting
> their time.
And think how I'd feel! :)
I think there's very, very little reason to think CR doesn't work in humans. The main question, for me, is about the timing of the development of alternatives. It would prove to have been a waste of time not only if for some reason it didn't work, but also if a CR-pill (or CR+-pill, etc.) were developed relatively soon (=? -- one of my questions); although, as you say, a CR diet is a healthy diet, and certainly will lower your chances of dying _now_, from many non-aging causes.
> Even if this were the case, there is lots of
> evidence to point to a lower calorie diet being
> healthy, provided proper nutrition is maintained.
> In other words, if CR doesn't work in humans,
> that's not equivalent to ringing the dinner bell
> on junk food.:)
Damn!!! (I wonder how fat I'll get in the post-CR era....)
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