A little while back, I posted some random thoughts, including one bit on the stupidity of dying due to aging. In that post I said,
Intelligent Design? My ass. Next time someone tells you about “planned obsolescence” point them towards a “Skilled Nursing Facility”. GM has nothing on Mother Nature.
It seems that I might have been on to something. From the Los Angeles Times comes
Of the worms’ approximately 20,000 genes, 1,256 were regulated differently in young worms versus old worms. In particular, the aged worms had different levels of transcription factors, key genes that influence development by turning other genes on and off.
So, genetics may explain at least in part why we age. It might also explain why some people live longer, in some cases much longer, than others.
Men aren’t worms, at least most aren’t. Still, research like this is how new medical breakthroughs start. Once the scientists have a better understanding of how these genes work and how they can be manipulated, then research can start on higher forms of life. That will progress for several years and maybe, if we are really lucky, in several years a new drug or some gene manipulation technique will be developed that will allow us to live longer, more productive lives.
The down side is that if this works, I’ll continue to be Too Old to Work, Too Young to Retire.