A Little More on Aging
November 25, 2002

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Longevity Index

What Really Happens During Cloning?
        It's an interesting fact that when Advanced Cell Technology created six (or eight) cloned calves by inserting very old somatic cells into bovine ova, the nuclei of the ancient cells were apparently rejuvenated by the process. This raises a question about what happens in the fertilization of an ovum. We know that mutations can prevail through this fertilization transformation. Just what rectifications do, and do not occur during this fertilization and rejuvenation process?
    I read that an experiment has been tried in which malignant cells have been inserted into enucleated ova. These fertilized ova then grew into normal embryos that became normal, cancer-free offspring. What happened to bring this about? Could we use whatever mechanisms repaired or otherwise normalized these malignant cells outside ova? What did the ova do to reverse the malignant transformation?

Vaccinations Against Cancer
    I suspect that our best hope in the war on cancer may lie in preventing it. Curing cancer would be a wonderful thing indeed, but preventing it may be easier to accomplish. Some cancers appear to be instigated by viruses such as the herpes virus, the papilloma virus,and the cytomegalovirus. Vaccines are becoming available to protect against infection by these viruses, and may help cut future cancer rates. 

Can Nutrition and Environmental Protection Slow the Rate of Aging and Help Protect Against Cancer?
    This line of speculation builds upon last night's speculations about the role of environment in the rate of aging. Certainly caloric intake helps to clock out the rate of aging by generating free radicals, but how much can antioxidants do to protect against free radical damage? What would happen if we were to feed someone brightly colored fruits, vegetables, and nuts, with some fish. Would they age visibly slower than matched controls who ate at MacDonalds and Pizza Hut?
    Food for thought.