Re: Aging and Cancer.

From: Robert J. Bradbury (
Date: Thu Jan 17 2002 - 00:48:20 MST

On Wed, 16 Jan 2002, Duane Hewitt wrote:

> A recent article in the journal Nature reported mice that had a
> mutation that reduced cancer but also substantially (20%) reduced
> their lifespan.

Duane -- don't you mean "increased" their lifespan?
If you don't cite specific sources it is difficult to verify
the message.

> This gives further evidence that a fine balance needs
> to be maintained between these two processes for any serious attempts
> at life extension.

This is (at least to me) obvious. Mammals started out as very small
creatures. As they get larger there is an increasing need to be able
to deal with cancer (which is a defective program of a single cell).
Humans have a very good anti-cancer program but it is much less
capable than that which must exist in elephants and whales.

Obviously the genetic program degrades over time -- because there
are insufficient resources dedicated to preserving the genetic
program in a "pristine" state. We have to wrestle with not only
the fact that the genetic program was not designed to maintain
human bodies for 100+ years but that it is becoming corrupted
during that period. We must solve *both* problems.


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