Re: "Immortality" gene revealed

Anders Sandberg (
03 Jan 1998 12:40:50 +0100

Joao Pedro <> writes:

> It's a good idea, but I would focus on their evolutionary path rather on
> their habitats.

Reasonable. It seems that it is partially linked with evolutionary
path, but it can apparently be turned on and off depending on
selection among fishes.

> For example, do you know that mammals can't produce
> ascorbic acid (a powerful anti-oxidant)? Little mistakes like that might
> be behind aging!

Possible, but I doubt it. We usually get enough ascorbic acid from our
food, and excrete the surplus in our urine, so being able to produce
would not be a major advantage. I seem to recall that some mammals can
produce it, but I might be wrong.

I think aging is more complex than just having a lot of antioxidants
in the body. There seem to be very subtle genetic factors involved,
perhaps creating a body structure that in the long run will fail
(simply because evolutionarily, there is no advantage to the genes to
have very long-lived hosts among mammals).

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y