Re: GLOOMY NEWS: antagonistic pleiotropy in p53

From: Robert J. Bradbury (
Date: Mon Jan 07 2002 - 07:26:19 MST

On Mon, 7 Jan 2002 wrote:

> Well, aging has significant detrimental consequences.

Not until after you have reproduced (which is all natural selection
cares about).

> If it had no compensating advantages and were easy to fix, it would be gone.

It doesn't have to have "advantages" it can just be an
incompletely debugged program. It isn't "easy to fix"
but it has been "fixed" in different ways in different
organisms (tortises, lobsters, humans, elephants, whales, etc.)

> The actual process itself needn't be advantageous,
> it could be an unavoidable side effect of something
> else (like cancer amelioration).

Certainly -- but cancer is ameliorated in organisms like
elephants and whales (who have many more cells that we do)
and they still manage to live as long or longer than humans.


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