Sunday, May 8, 2016

Rejuvenation and longevity

In 1989 I started by delusional thinking. Very long life is thermodynamically possible, probable, and therefore inevitable.
If the nominal chemical content of the various cells of the 25 year old body are maintained then the whole body will work as the 25 year old body works. Molecular content can be kept nominal by adding energy to the cellular process that will maintain the nominal concentrations of the thousand or so molecules of each of the 20 to 40 or so types of cells in the body. The concept is simple and clean and rests on the second law: you can do what you want in a chemical system if you pay the energy and matter price to do it. The 25 year old body does it so it can be done. But it isn't easy.
De Grey's method looks attractive because it points to why the molecular nominal concentrations fall below nominal, garbage collection fails to keep up. Help it keep up an you get closer to nominal.
But the De Pinho and Sahan telermerase experiments show that you can keep things near to nominal by keeping the cells from stepping on themselves by unwinding the chromosomes and having genes corrupted.
The stem cell research shows that if we can keep them working their daughter cells will be closer to nominal than aged cells concentrations are.
Parabiosis has shown that the young body produces molecules that keep the bodies various cell types with nominal concentrations. The Harvard group under Amy Wagers, and other groups, says gdf11 and other protein concentrations fall off in the body as it ages and papabiosis pushes the concentrations back toward nominal in the old body with the greater concentration from the young. More than other procedures this tends to support the idea that nominal cell molecular concentrations for each of the various cell types is something that bio-engineering can accomplish.
Rejuvenation and longevity are an information problem: the nominal concentrations need to be documented, their maintenance needs to be understood, and natures failure to maintain them needs to be corrected. The young body does it, naturally. Science will assist the body to maintain nominal concentrations once the research concludes what nominal is and how nature keeps it nominal.
Posted by: Roger Duronio at May 8th, 2016 10:05 AM

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