The Durk Pearson & Sandy Shaw®
Life Extension NewsTM
Volume 16 No. 8 • September 2013


Progress Slow in Developing an Overall
Model of the Aging Process

A recent paper1 proposes some reasons why progress has been slow in closing in on a comprehensive explanation of aging. As the authors note, “over 300 mechanisms have been proposed in the literature to explain the underlying molecular and physiological processes of the aging process.”

They suggest two particular problems in pulling all this diverse data together:

1. “Limiting an open communication between different investigators and diverse disciplines. Investigators involved in the exploration of one single pathway might be unable to adequately appreciate advancements in other aspects of the very same phenomenon under study. Also, some fields of research are extremely far from each other (for what concerns backgrounds, methodologies, and measurements) to easily develop effective and successful collaborations.”

2. “Driving the development of interventions too narrowly focused. In other words, experts of one specific mechanism of aging are more likely to exclusively explore preventive/therapeutical protocols for that selected target.”

These problems were the reasons why we wrote our book Life Extension, a Practical Scientific Approach (Warner Books, 1982) that became a #1 bestseller, selling over 1,000,000 copies. We realized that there were many diverse areas of science (for example, food science, petroleum science, animal husbandry, toxicology, etc.) that were developing work that was very relevant to the study of aging and, yet, workers in one of these scientific fields could be entirely unaware of what researchers in another area were doing. We felt that it was extremely important to help bring out the relatedness of much of this important work in order to speed up the development of aging research and, according to feedback we got from many other scientists, we succeeded in doing so. That’s why Life Extension, a Practical Scientific Approach became a classic. It wasn’t because we were doing all this work. It was because a lot of people were doing work that added up to considerably more knowledge of the aging process than the scientific community (and, indeed, the public at large) realized we had. In the process, of course, it became clear that there was an awful lot more left to be learned (still is) which pointed in a number of directions that hadn’t received much attention before.

Reference

  1. Cesari et al. The stress of aging. Exp Gerontol. 48:451-6 (2013).

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