In my search for wisdom about aging, I maintain that the primary cause is telomere shortening. This does not mean that methylation, signaling with stem cell produced vesicles (like packages with a purpose) don't play a secondary role.
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Solved: the Chicken came AFTER the Egg

There is a common laziness bias: we assume our models of the world to be valid simply because we haven’t considered information that would contradict or refine them. Just two days ago, I realized that I have been taking the wrong off ramp to my home for years. I wouldn’t have realized it if my regular one hadn’t been closed for construction. Such is the nature of wisdom.

In my search for wisdom about aging, I still maintain that the primary cause is telomere shortening. This does not mean that methylation, mitochondrial dysfunction, cellular junk, and signaling with stem cell produced vesicles (like packages with a purpose) don’t play a secondary role. They clearly do!  A recent study showed such vesicles from healthy cardiac stem cells can rejuvenate damaged ones. I had the pleasure of meeting Milad, the scientist who wrote this definitive paper on these vesicles yesterday.

As we see with the current Charlottesville political theater, truth and good intentions are not a zero sum game to be understood like thermodynamics or Newtonian physics. We can all be morally wrong so my telling of lies or acting like an ass doesn’t make your lies more true or ennoble your actions.

Let’s think of truth as a scalar function. As information and bias is lifted, we all get wiser. It has never been a question of telomere versus mitochondrial versus evolutionary thinking. All are parts of a puzzle that we can set into some order. That said, we still have to accept that the egg came before the chicken and that some conundrums are really just sophistry. Eggs existed for many millions of years before chickens so some proto-chicken laid the first mutant egg that became a chicken. It cannot be any other way.

The reason I suggest that telomere dysfunction is the egg and not the chicken is nature. The inflammation, methylation, mitochondrial damage, DNA mutation etc. that people associate with aging can all be a result of aging produced by telomere attrition. There are no models of premature human aging based on these alternative theories.

As proof of my biological order of operations, I offer this recent publication of scientists reversing the effects of aging in progeric children using telomerase messenger RNA.

Telomeres are not only a biological clock, they also have other signaling roles and are the main mechanical driver of chromosomal damage leading to senescence and aging on the cellular and organ level.  The best evidence suggests that although there are many ways to cause diseases that look like aging, its natural models, in both progeric children and all of us, is telomere erosion in stem cells which drive both local dysfunction and reserve depletion.

If you look at the best natural models of accelerated aging, they all involve defects in the telomerase system. Watch this video I did on the subject to understand more:



5 thoughts on “Solved: the Chicken came AFTER the Egg”

  1. Jack L. Nichols

    The molecular structures (ultimately sub atomic particle/entity down to the very smallest) are differentiated data/energy conduits for every cell structure and function with environmental influence via epigenetics /RNA interaction with the secondary helix and ultimately primary helix at times. The staggered loss of the telomeres results in data necessary for closer to totally complete (youthful) cell structures being compromised=aging, i.e. wrinkled membranes, less capacity to perform , weakened structural integrity, etc. Incidentally less energy and resource demanding. These are probably more a result than causation with a mix of attenuation for both.

  2. Hadn’t seen Dr. John Cooke’s research on progeria. Fascinating! Always appreciate your insightful posts.

  3. Nobel Prize physiology 2017 about circadian rhythms, but… 3D Bioprinting-Immortality (biological timers)… Forever young with modified Biological Timers… Which are the biological timers?, where are them? (genes, hypothalamus…), how functioning them? (ordering stop growth at finish of adolescence…ordering start to grow-old at beginning of adulthood), how can modify them (telomerase…) for maintenance the hormones production, enzymes, cellular regeneration…all Eternity at same level of the 18 years old?… Have to accelerate Research about Memory and the Space´s Colonization… Immortality comes…

  4. …interstellar travel constant acceleration (immortals new body)… 3D Bioprinting…the technology used to print documents is also being utilized to create living tissue, in a not too distant future to “print”, overlapping layer upon layer, whole organs such as a heart, a liver, a kidney, and one day a whole body. In the beginning the basic technique was exactly the same as using a normal inkjet printer, when printing a document (or image) inks of different colors are distributed on the paper in a specific pattern. It all started in this way: at Clemson University (years ago) have replaced printer inks for some “ink cells” alive. The ink cartridges were refilled with some cell solutions and software was rescheduled. The “paper” is a biodegradable gel, designed at the University of Washington, which solidifies to reach 32 ºC of temperature. Still need it much? for to be a reality with great performances. The main problem is that it is still unable to create an organ which circulates the blood, but it can print a tissue with thickness of a kidney in just 2 hours. The next step is to print the tiniest (capillaries) parts of an organ, just those that make it work (plasma with O2 and nutrients towards…↔▓↔…and CO2 which go into from…). If this is achieved would be very near the Eternity for human being.

  5. …interstellar travel not acceleration constant (graphene: planet errant)… every bit a Terraformed planet errant into a bubble graphene how diamond transparent…with fusion reactors which will give the light and heat how an artificial sun, encircling an antigravitational field Tesla/Brown “electrogravitics” prevents objects collision against the “blue-arch of heaven”… Who needs already a star…

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