Archive for August 4, 2010

Negligible Senescence: 2

August 4, 2010 7 comments

If you have read the first part of the series, you might have thought..

No way, all the animals I know about age like humans.

and that is precisely the perception problem – all the animals you are most familiar with are, by and large, small or large terrestrial mammals or insects. Sure there are some exceptions like chickens and small lizards but you are focusing on the one group of animals that age in a very reliable manner.

Terrestrial and arboreal mammals are unique in that they all age in a very peculiar way that crosses species. Essentially their bodies gradually lose the ability to repair themselves.

Here is an old and concise review on that subject-
The-Evolution-of-Mammalian-Aging (PDF File)

So why do almost all terrestrial mammals age? and why do birds of a similar size and higher metabolism age much slower than mammals?

To understand this problem, we have to ask ourselves the seldom asked question.

Can a cell repair itself so well that it does not age? and the related question- is this ability universal or is there a built-in mechanism that prevents true agelessness.

The simple answer to the first question is a resounding YES, and the answer to second question- based on what we have learnt over the last 25-odd years is a resounding NO. There is no built-in universal mechanism to prevent true agelessness.

It is the lack of a fully functional cell repair system that causes aging.

The implications are that astounding- if you think about them. It means that pretty much any species could after some tinkering have a fully functional cellular repair system and thereby become ageless.

So what makes some species ageless or long-lived?

The lack of significant predation as adults- either because of size (whale, crocodile), ability of flight (birds), location (tuatara, deep-living rockfish) or the ability to scare predators off (apes, humans).

Plants such as the Bristlecone Pine, which can live for thousands of years, also lack predation through living in isolated and harsh environments.

A related factor is – How much physical conflict does the adult lifestyle of that species involve- wolves, lions have far more physically hazardous lifestyle as adults when compared to say apes and humans. I cannot resist pointing out that the original ‘alpha, beta and omega’ concept comes from studies of wolves and lions- not humans. Get it?

Animals that have to reproduce quickly because of high adult mortality tend to gradually lose the cell repair mechanisms that would have made them ageless. So high fecundity is selected over agelessness. That is not to say that the genes which allow perfect cell repair disappear in these species. It just so happens that are mutated, quiet or are expressed at sub-optimal levels.

The more adult mortality due to predation- the less functional the cellular repair system.

Humans are fairly long-lived for mammals because most of our cellular repair mechanisms are very good- for a mammal. We are, however, pathetic compared to crocodiles or whales.

Whales might have become ageless precisely because of their size. Their ancestors were large otter sized animals. But once they became truly aquatic, the principal restriction on their size was removed. Hence many of the cell repair mechanisms that may have been suboptimal in their amphibious ancestors, were selected back into their (almost) fully functional form.

Who is going to go up against a fully grown blue whale or a bowhead whale- except humans in the last 200 years?

However through biotechnology it may be possible for us to copy/adapt in a few years what evolution took millions of years to redevelop. Given the nature and commonality of housekeeping genes across species, it may be much easier than most of you realize.

But success along those lines will certainly bring its own ethical and other dilemmas. However, that is a question best reserved for the time we can make it work in humans.

Negligible Senescence: 1

August 4, 2010 3 comments

What if I told you that while all animals are mortal, more than a few species are ageless. Think about the implications, and more importantly how it could be engineered in human beings.

Future posts in this series will also discuss about why current research on aging is focused on, and going down, the wrong path.

So first let us define the concept-

While all animal species can die, not all species age past their reproductive peak. That is not to say that they are immortal- and indeed food shortages, diseases, toxins, predators and combat can and does kill them eventually.

But not aging..

Consider for a moment that we have solved most of the problems that kill ageless animal species, and you will see what I am talking about.

Whales, Turtles, Salt-water Crocodiles, Yelloweye Rockfish, Sturgeons and Tuataras are essentially ageless. Even other species like large eagles and old-world vultures (Accipitridae), African Grey Parrots and even Lobsters age very gradually or not at all.

The question then becomes-

What is common amongst all of these ageless species, as they span the whole range of multicellular animals from invertebrates (lobsters), fish (deep living rockfish), reptiles/archosaurs (tuataras, turtles, crocodiles) , birds (vultures, grey parrots) to mammals (whales). There is a peculiar answer to that question, which I will talk about in the next part of this series and try to show you that it also applies to plant longevity.

That reason also explains a few other peculiarities such as- why do apes and humans live so much longer than say wolves or lions (same or larger size).

I am going to stop this post here because the amount and range of information is such that it must be broken down in parts that are small enough for most of you to understand and assimilate.

Paying More To Get Less: 3

August 4, 2010 2 comments

Let me make this post short, sweet and toxic.

Many blogs on game or related to it often put up pictures of women they would like to bang.

I have alluded to this in previous posts, but let me say this once again and very unambiguously.

I have actually had ‘paid sex’ with escorts who look like the ones I post- on my terms and schedule.

Sure, it was ‘paid’ for- but does that make the sensation of her lips and tongue on your dick any different? Does paying for it lessen the pleasurable sensation of her playing with your balls and taint. Does paying for it make her pussy feel less warm and cosy (and yes- since you wear a condom for casual sex anyway, it is a moot point). Does it make her asshole feel less snug around your dick? Does paying her reduce the chances of doing her in many different positions?

What measurable advantage do you get by not paying for it? Who is more likely to have an STD- an average girl or an escort? Who is more likely to give you an STD? Who is more likely to flake on you? Who will try to trap you into paying more for her, taking crap from her and maybe even an “oops” pregnancy?

In retrospect, I am happy that many women treated me poorly in my early 20s. If they had not done so, I would have never realized the true nature of the scam called ‘unpaid’ sex. While I do partake in ‘unpaid’ sex, from time to time, it is on MY terms and schedule- not hers.

Enjoy the rest of your day or night.