ISSN 0964-5659

Longevity Report 59

Volume 11 no 59. First published May 1997. ISSN 0964-5659.

e-mail: Internet longevityrpt@yahoo.com

Is ignorant freedom a good or bad thing? Brent Allsop

Vote for me and I'll ... by Chrissie Loveday

DNA

Cremation and Burial Constitute A Passive Form of Suicide

Vegetarianism and Mortality Dr Keith Monnington

Comments on A Sensible and Valid Critique of Cryonics Brian Wowk

Cryonics in Fiction Dr Steve Harris

Longevity from Oil Waste Yvan Bozzonetti

My Visit to Yellowknife Douglas Skrecky

Lithium chloride and autoimmune reactions Douglas Skrecky

Second Update on My Fly Experiments Douglas Skrecky

Fetal Mouse Hearts Revived Douglas Skrecky

How to Save Your Teeth Jim Foster

A Unique Method to Raise Funds Thomas G. Mahoney

Third Update on My Drosophila Experiments Douglas Skrecky

The Fourth Update on My Fly Experiments Douglas Skrecky

The Fifth Update on My Fly Experiments Douglas Skrecky

Single copy rate 3.50. Subscription rates six issues of 20 pages:- 20 (15 by Banker's Order UK only). Cheques in British Pounds should be drawn on a UK bank and should be made payable to "Reeves Telecommunications Laboratories" Alternatively, dollar checks for $34 can be accepted if drawn on a U.S. bank and made payable to "J. de Rivaz". Contents are provided for information only, under the right to free speech. Opinions are the authors' own. No professional advice is intended. If you wish others to be legally responsible for your health, life or finances, then please consult a professional regulated according to the laws of your country.



Is ignorant freedom a good or bad thing?



By Brent Allsop



John de Rivaz <longevityrpt@yahoo.com> had some great comments on the Internet:



> Most people cut up and burned or rotted are so treated in the belief

> that God or Jesus or some other religion-figure will take them to

> heaven. Is that any more sensible than space ships hiding behind

> comets?



> How would the rest of the world react if the cult that is in the

> news had snatched people from the streets or even from hospitals to

> impose their procedures? Yet this is what happens when people who

> want to be suspended are autopsied and burned or rotted by legal

> force.



Yes, how shamefully deceptive, devilish, and evil it all is. I was raise in the LDS church (The Mormons) and was taught that the Atheists, Humanists... and other "Anti-Christs" were of the devil, and that choosing them was the same as choosing death. In the Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi 2:27 it says:



"they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself."



Imagine my horror as I finally realized that, we are indeed free to choose, but the opposite choice is the one that honestly leads to life and death. And that it is apparently only the leaders and pushers of such doctrines specifically against the hopeful and natural life loving that are the real liars that apparently desire that others be dead or miserable like unto themselves.



I guess in another thousand years we'll know for sure who was right, who was wrong, who is alive, and who is dead and in hell or the grave... and miserable.



As it says in Joshua 24:15: "Choose you this day whom ye will serve..." As for me in my house I will choose life.



Is ignorant freedom a good or bad thing? Should we cryonicists more actively cry words of warning and repentance to the sinful liars of the world? Otherwise it's going to be mighty lonely. At least until we, Like Tippler claims, will finally be able to resurrect even the "information theoretically dead", "cut up", and "rotted" souls.



I never much cared for hellfire and damnation doctrines but isn't this fairly close to the way reality is turning out, at least for the cryonicist? The loving warnings of a cryonicist sure sound a lot more credible and real than the hateful threats of the various Gods to me.



Vote for me and I'll ...



by Chrissie Loveday



If there is a corner anywhere in Britain that has escaped election fever, please tell me where it is. So far, I've given up on breakfast television news; my favourite radio station; general news bulletins; daily newspapers and now I have to look the other way to avoid advertising hoardings in the street. Who is this uninformed idiot?



It is only the beginning of the so-called election campaign, as I write this. I'm sick of it. The first week, everyone was yelling slease at one party. At every turn, someone was guilty of sexy goings-on or taking bribes. The other parties, naturally, remain as pure as Soho on a Saturday night. The newspapers have declared their sides and seem to believe they really can influence people's lives. Are they so naïve as to believe that all British people are totally ingenuous? Are we really supposed to believe that a vote cast for one party or another is going to have the least effect on anyone's lives? Basically, the size of the government is such that it can no longer have any effect on individuals. Whoever wins, the processes will grind on as usual. The extravagant promises made to win votes will be forgotten, eventually used only to score points by the future losers. Granted, for politicians it is a matter of job security, if only for the next five years. All parties believe they are right and everyone else is wrong. Wherever my own vote is cast, it will make no difference to the overall result. Perhaps everyone should stay away in droves and thoroughly dent the ego of so many loud mouths, who have tried to take over our normal lives to say how much better they are than anyone else.



I sense there may people remembering all those women who fought for the likes of me to have a vote. Here I am letting them down. Women were not even educated in the past and their views on anything at all had little relevance to life. Literature quotes mainly the privileged few ... those ladies who did have the benefit of education and who could write the romances and acknowledged masterpieces. How much was all of that relevant to the masses? Even if they all could afford daily papers, when could they have read them? (assuming they could read at all.)

The overkill of election propaganda has made me more cynical than usual. The point I suppose I am making, is that information overkill has the opposite effect to the one intended. I was once told that what is left out is the most important thing, when teaching. If we hammer on about the same things, all be it under different titles, people will begin to turn off. I often complain that no-one is truly saying anything new as far as the election goes. It seems the only way to interest people is to publish something which causes controversy. (Back to slease!)



It is the same when we are trying to convince someone that beliefs are the right ones. I have said very little lately about cryonic suspension. It doesn't mean that my intentions have changed in any way. Further discussion will not change the views of someone who is against the idea, until perhaps, something new is discovered. I am no longer excited by yet another programme telling the world about the strange people who think freezing their corpse after death will work. The slightly jokey, I've never heard anything like it attitude has worn thin on me. There is however, always someone who is hearing about for the first time and so it is worth keeping on saying the same things after a decent interval. The publicity and apparent interest seems to outweigh the numbers of people actually committed to the cause. Perhaps the upsurge in science fiction interest has something to do with it.



Are religious fanatics any different? If they want to believe that everlasting life is waiting on a space ship behind a comet, let them get on with it, though the deliberate taking of lives seems rather drastic. But then, I am a committed preserver of life, especially as we are no more certain of a second chance than we are that cryonics will work.



I am all for a decent debate about most things but I will not develop my views by being force fed. I want unbiased information that is not dictated by self-interest, self-promotion and especially not the childish banterings of politicians and bigots. I want to consider the hard facts and make up my mind. I can no longer believe anyone who shouts their opinions in an attempt to stifle others.



I am now off-line until May 2nd!



DNA

(Author unknown)



I have always wondered why the life extension movement has not ALREADY succeeded in its aims. Why have not funds sufficient to determine the cause of aging ALREADY been spent? Why has reversible cryopreservation not ALREADY been perfected? In a recent talk with some of my coworkers I was astonished when EVERYONE (except myself) complained about being depressed. Why has not something been done about this ALREADY? Don't people want to live, instead of merely existing? Nothing it seems could be more basic than health and happiness. Yet few seem to have made any significant efforts to achieve this. Why is this so? Here's an answer:



The November 1995 issue of Scientific American contained an article entitled God's Utility Function by Richard Dawkins. On might think based on the title that this article was an uplifting ode to the fundamental importance of man's place in the cosmos. Richard however does not worship at the altar of irrationality as most people seem to do. Instead he gives a reason why most people seem to ignore their own desire for health and happiness.



Quote "Humans have always wondered about the meaning of life. According to the author, life has no higher purpose than to perpetuate the survival of DNA." According to Richard we are, like all animals mere survival machines, engineered by natural selection to propagate DNA. As to why we age he has this sobering reminder: "One way multicellular organisms maximize DNA survival is by wasting little energy on ensuring that organs survive indefinitely." As to why animals such as man tend to be unhappy Richard offers the following comfort: "So long as DNA is passed on, it does not matter who or what gets hurt in the process. Genes don't care about suffering, because they don't care about anything." He ends by saying: "DNA neither cares nor knows. DNA just is. And we dance to its music."



This strikes me as being a plausible explanation for why most humans are not rationally selfish enough to care much about their own health and happiness. The dominant motivations for most seems to be primarily to care and nuture their own replacements. It is understandible why most people work hours that are needlessly long. It is understandible why most people seem to be on an emotional rollercoaster till an acceptible spouse has been obtained. It is understandible why most people believe that their unselfish sacrificial behaviour will have its own reward in some hypothetical nonexistent afterlife. The devilish DNA is laughing all long at what fools we mortals must be.



Still to give the devil his due I do not think we would have any desires at all, much less a desire for personal health and happiness, without that greedy DNA. So we are not entirely at odds with our biological master. In doing its bidding we also serve ourselves. Humans however seem to be the only species that possesses the capacity to see some of the tricks DNA can pull. One can only ask that such intelligence that exists be utilized to see through the games our biological heritage can play and refuse to particpate where our personal best interests are violated.



The idea that health and happiness are desirable is a self reproducing thought with a clear survival advantage. Only in humans does the intelligence exist where a real battle can now be joined with the ultimate master DNA. Let the war begin.



Cremation and Burial Constitute

A Passive Form of Suicide



Author Unknown



Ultimate disposition of the bodies of deceased humans is at present limited to cremation, rotting in the ground and cryonics. According to science the chances of an afterlife attendant to these three options are zero for cremation, zero for burial and are non-zero only for cryonics. Thus two out of these three options constitute a passive form of suicide. Definition of suicide: The act or an instance of intentionally killing oneself.



According to the definition of suicide, failure to choose cryonics (life) over cremation/rotting is an act of suicide unless the existence of the former option is unknown. Arguments about the likelyhood of cryonics succeeding are all moot, since we require only a non-zero chance for success to classify cryonics as pro-life. To a rational mind cryonics obviously has a non-zero chance for success, therefore it is a pro-life option and the others are suicide.



Comments welcomed.



Further analysing the cryonics option one could break down the risks for failure to obtain an afterlife with this option as follows:

Damage occurring before freezing. This is called autolysis. For this risk to be kept relatively low one would have to anticipate death and take steps to insure freezing is accomplished in a relatively short period of time after death. Cryonics companies attempt to achieve this.

2. Freezing damage. For this risk to be kept relatively low perfusion of cryoprotectants is required after death and before freezing. Again cryonics companies attempt and usually achieve this.

3. Termination of storage due to financial failure. This may be the most serious risk as revival technology will likely take a long time to develop. Cryonics companies at present are attempting to control for this risk by decreasing costs by using larger and more economical storage facilities. The possibility of using freeze-drying to decrease the requirement for low storage temperatures should be noted here.

Revival technology is never developed. Humans do seem to be having a love affair with technology for the past few centuries. Considering human nature is such that humans have already done "crazy" things like putting a man on the moon the risk of revival technology never being developed can be roughly equated with the risk of humanity becoming extinct. The odds of this happening are hopefully much smaller than the other risks outlined here.

Revival technology is eventually developed, but is not used due to financial failure. This risk also would seem to be relatively modest provided the financial failure is not such that storage is terminated. Provided storage is maintained long enough and given once again curious human nature, revival technology would likely be used even if all of the frozen "dead" are charity cases.



Unfortunately there exists one economic reason for not choosing life over death. Cryonics is not free and medicare does not pay for it. Although some prices for cryonics can run to over $100,000 (usually paid for by life insurance) there do exist less expensive options. The Cryonics Institute for example does offer whole body cryonic suspension for a minimum of $28,000.



A yet less expensive option is also available from The American Cryonics Society.



Cryonics Institute

email: ettinger@aol.com

address: 24355 Sorrentino Court

Clinton Township, MI

USA 48035

phone: 810-792-7062



The American Cryonics Society

email: cryonics@earthlink.net

address: P.O. Box 1509

Cupertino. CA

USA 95015

phone: 408-734-4200



Other cryonics companies can be emailed at:



Alcor: info@alcor.org

Cryocare: cryocare@phantom.com

Trans Time: quaife@math.berkeley.edu



Vegetarianism and Mortality



<100231.3061@compuserve.com>



What follows is a report on a study originally published in the British Medical Journal and re-printed as an extract in the New Zealand Medical Journal. I think it represents further data condemning a diet high in saturated fat as being inherently unhealthy and increasing ones risk of both heart attack and cancer.



A prospective British study has investigated the risk death from cancer and ischemic heart disease (IHD- the cause of heart attacks) in 6115 non-meat eaters and compared them with 5015 meat eating controls.



The standardised mortality ratio for IHD was 51 for the general population and 28 for non-meat eaters. Values for all cancers were 80 for meat eaters and 50 for non-meat eaters. When the effects of smoking, body mass index and socioeconomic status were allowed for, the death ratios for non-meat eaters compared with meat eaters were 0.72 for IHD and 0.61 for all cancers. In effect the nonmeat diet reduced cancer mortality by 40%.



Vegetarians not only do not eat meat but their diet differs from that of meat eaters in having a high intake of cereals, fruits, pulses and nuts. Hence it is low in saturated fats and high in unsaturated fats, carbohydrates and dietary fibre. Vegetarians tend to be slimmer, smoke less and have higher socioeconomic status than the rest of the population. It is not easy to explain the apparent benefits of non-meat eating and there is a possibility that the other features of the vegetarian diet may have a beneficial effect on premature mortality. It may be possible to obtain the benefits of the vegetarian diet without totally excluding meat.



Thorogood M, Mann J, Appleby P, McPherson K. Risk of death from cancer and ischemic heart disease in meat and non-meat eaters. BMJ 1994; 308: 1667-71.



Comments on A Sensible and Valid

Critique of Cryonics



by Brian Wowk (CryoCare Foundation) <wowk@cryocare.org>



Andrew Bajorinas wrote on the Internet:

Cryonics may some day be possible, but the people frozen now wasted their money. The current freezing process can not escape the fact that as the water in the body freezes it forms sharp crystals that pierce a huge percentage of cell walls.



It's not nearly as bad as your description suggests. The high concentration of cryoprotectants used in cryonics currently limits freezing to about 30% of tissue water. Virtually all this ice is extracellular; cells tend to dehydrate during slow freezing so that membranes are not pierced by ice crystals (which is why cells don't freeze intracellularly). Disruption of cell-to-cell relationships and cryoprotectant toxicity are more important damage mechanisms.



Whereas I agree that it will be a VERY long time before medicine can repair cellular damage on a body-wide scale. I disagree that it will if it is NEVER be possible.



Capabilities for such repair are inevitable (if technological progress continues). The question of cryonics is whether there is sufficient structure left to work with (i.e. whether the revived person will be the original person as opposed to some amnesiac clone.)



Since the person can not be alive in this state (too many dead cells) the medicine required to repair the freezing damage can not even expect the assistance of the body's natural healing processes. Virtually all modern medicine merely assists this natural process. A broken bone is set in place, but the body fixes the break. You can sew a wound closed, but the body repair the cut. An immunization merely stimulates the bodies natural defences.



My compliments on your very sensible and valid critique of cryonics (compared to the usual vitalist drivel). I hope you will appreciate the equally sensible and valid response to this point at: <http://www.asiapac.com/EnginesOfCreation/EOC_Chapter_7.html>



Just try to imagine the technology required to "fix" billions (trillions?) of cells in a body one at a time without entering the body (thus causing more damage) and without a live host whose healing systems might aid the effort.



The technology has been imagined. Brief discussion of relevant issues from the above reference:



Access. White blood cells leave the bloodstream and move through tissue, and viruses enter cells. Biologists even poke needles into cells without killing them. These examples show that molecular machines machines can reach and enter cells.



Recognition. Antibodies and the tail fibers of the T4 phage - and indeed, all specific biochemical interactions - show that molecular systems can recognize other molecules by touch.



Disassembly. Digestive enzymes (and other, fiercer chemicals) show that molecular systems disassemble damaged molecules.



Rebuilding. Replicating cells show that molecular systems can build or rebuild every molecule found in a cell.



Reassembly. Nature also shows that separated molecules can be put back together again. The machinery of the T4 phage, for example, self-assembles from solution, apparently aided by a single single enzyme. Replicating cells show that molecular systems can assemble every system found in a cell.



It would take miraculous "Star Trek" type technology to even consider such a thing.



We are not talking about warp drive. We are talking about engineering on the molecular level (a concept well within the bounds of known physics, and proven every day by the operation of our own biochemistry). If you can custom-build microorganisms, then you can reconstitute injured, necrotic tissue with the same facility that natural microbes would otherwise deconstitute it.



We can say with some scientific authority that it is a very poor bet. Many scientists who have investigated this area have concluded that even if it will be possible some day the current freezing process is NOT adequate.



What scientists? There are published papers in referreed journals arguing the potential workability of cryonics, even as currently practised. There are none refuting it. (Not to say that some cryobiologists don't engage in public broadsides against cryonics for political reasons.) See <http://www.cryocare.org/cryocare/casecryo.txt> for a detailed discussion of relevant cryobiological issues.



Brian Wowk

CryoCare Foundation

1-800-TOP-CARE

President, Human Cryopreservation Services

http://www.cryocare.org/cryocare/



Cryonics in Fiction



by Dr Steve Harris

Reprinted from an Internet posting by permission of the author



The question of whether of not cavemen would be considered human if one came into contact with them, is one that was especially popular in 1930's SF-- I think in response to the first frozen mammoth reports, the first artificial organ experiments (Carrel and Lindeburgh and so forth), and a lot of B grade horror movies about resuscitation (including what is arguably the first "human cryopreservation" movie The Man with Nine Lives, with Boris Karloff, 1940). One of my favourite pre- golden age SF stories is L. Sprague De Camp's classic short story The Gnarly Man, which is about a Neanderthal who is immortalized by a bolt of lightning, and who ends up viewing and wandering through all of human history, vaguely in the vein of Ahauserus, the Wandering Jew (and Mr. Flint in the Star Trek episode we've all seen a zillion times). At the end of the story, some medical types are quite willing to vivisect the Gnarly Man in order to examine his skull, but he gets away. Along the way he has some dry observations about the ways of Cro Magnon humanity.



There is opportunity for comedy in this type of thing. The Gnarly Man is recognizably resurrected again 30 years later in 1960's comedy by Mel Brooks in his 1000 Year Old Man skits. And consider another hoary old story of about the same period as De Camp's, a little known one by none other than Edgar Rice Burroughs, vintage 1937, called The Resurrection of Jimber Jaw. In this one, a caveman is resurrected from a block of ice, much as in the much later Timothy Bottoms movie Iceman. Only Burroughs' prototype revived caveman is a lot more politically incorrect in his views about women and society than the caveman of the Bottoms movie, and Burroughs uses the story basically as a vehicle for social criticism--- in the same way that Poe did first with his revived mummies in Words With a Mummy, written a century before (and oddly enough for Poe, also a comedy). In fact the Burroughs story (which is unintentionally funny today) powerfully reminds one of the recurring Saturday Night Live skit Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer, to which it perhaps owes a creative debt somewhere. Except Burroughs, being by 1937 an old reactionary, does it all straight.



And there is opportunity for tragedy. Despite the approach difference, it should be noted that Burroughs' anachronistic caveman ends up exactly as in the Bottoms movie--- fleeing back into the snow (and frozen oblivion again), away from a modern society which is alien to him. This is mythologically de rigueur. Science fiction begins with Frankenstein, literally a teenage girl's nightmare, and ever since Mary Shelley's monster-- the horribly ugly and lonely creature who just wants a mate and to get married-- the idea of technological life-extension has been powerfully linked to the primordial fear of social isolation. Which fear, IMHO, is far and away more primordial than the fear of death (so long as the prospect of death is not too immediate). We are social animals before we are intelligent animals. Which is why cryonics languishes today as a popular social interest, don't you know. As I've said on<sci.cryonics> before, it's the prospect of *isolation* that is the Frankenstein connection that most people sense and fear in cryonics, but often cannot quite put their fingers on, when asked. It's NOT that most people are afraid getting frozen won't "work" (though this argument gives them an easy out)-- rather it's that subconsciously people are afraid it WILL. And in the future they'll be somehow different and unloved and left out. Or worse. I'm therefore somewhat less sanguine about the idea that successful demonstration of suspended animation of the brain will bring about a sea change of interest in the process of cryonics, but then, I'm a pessimist after a decade in cryonics. Probably the truth will be somewhere in between. After demonstrated suspended animation, cryonics as we think of it perhaps will still be an interest of a small minority (like private airplane piloting), but at least it will be far more popular than now. Probably something like cloning <g>.



Speaking of pessimism: in reality, alas, I don't think we'll be cloning too many ancient humans directly, as the cell nuclei decay pretty badly at ice temp. But there may yet be a lot of DNA left. I don't know about humans, but I confidently predict that some elephants in the next century are going to be bearing calves with as much wooly mammoth DNA as scientists can get into them. That will be interesting indeed.



Steve Harris



Longevity from Oil Waste

by Yvan Bozzonetti



Some twenty years ago, I was publishing a periodical in France on health, pollution and similar questions. A leading article in one of the first issue was about an experiment conducted by Shell-oil in its La Verra plant near Marseille in southern France. Here, to solve pollution problems linked to heavy crude oil, they selected some yeast species able to thrive on such products.



After separation and drying the yeasts form a "protein caster" used by local bakeries and farmer as animal food. There was some concern about that "artificial food" coming from oil and a set of tests on rats and mice was conducted. Strangely, the animals not only lived well but longer than control ones. Finally, the product production was stopped after some government pressure: That food displayed a high DNA-RNA content and that was seen as hazardous by some medical authorities.



Now, we know from detective work by Douglas Screcky that DNA-RNA injection with a solvent can boost enormously the life expectancy of rats. May be a similar effect was at work in the experiment with the yeasts from Shell? It seems unpublished similar experiments with high RNA-DNA foods have produced nothing. There may be a twist: The Shell yeast was given in powder form, may be some of it found its way directly to the lungs and from here to the blood stream. That would explain why there was a small result....



May be, from what we know now it would be interesting to start again that yeast production. Who want to create a biotechnology start-up on that subject?





My Visit to Yellowknife

by Douglas Skrecky (From the November 1995 issue of Canadian Cryonics News)



Fuelled by curiosity I decided to pay a visit to Yellowknife. Ben Best had a job for me as well. "Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to photograph the graves of two Europeans buried in the permafrost. Their relatives would really appreciate this." Then the tape recorder burnt itself out.



After an inexpensive charter flight to Edmonton I was surprised to learn that plane fare between Edmonton and Yellowknife was a rather hefty $600 return. So I made the mistake of hopping on a milk run Greyhound bus bound for Enterprise, NWT instead. I had flap jacks for breakfast and had forgotten them till the road became rather rough and the bus started going up and down, up and down. The flap jacks started going flip, flap, flip, flap. At the Alberta border there was a sign stating that all the land beyond was the North Western Territories. It looked like the end of the universe to me at the time. Eventually the bus stopped shaking. I looked out and spotted a diner stuck out in the middle of nowhere. This was Enterprise, the home for 49 people and my bus stop. Heaven I thought. The air had quite a chill in it for early October and the trees looked rather runty. I sat down and waited. The wind whispered its secrets for a time. A loud flapping noise startled me. It was a raven flying overhead. One forgets how quiet nature can be after living in a city for so long. The last leg of the journey to Yellowknife turned out to be a bus from Arctic Frontier Carrier. The bus driver put out his hand and a fifty dollar bill disappeared from my wallet and appeared therein. However this bus driver drove more slowly and the ride was rather more smooth. After arriving late in Yellowknife I flagged a taxi and hopped in. The driver was a black fellow who seemed very enthusiastic about all the money non-natives were making in Yellowknife and all the alcohol the natives were drinking and what was I doing in Yellowknife? Fare was $4. I handed him a ten and received $104 in change. After handing back the hundred I looked at him and wondered and wondered.

Next day I visited Lakeview Cemetery with Brian, the grave digger to guide me. The new section of the cemetery had two graves that did not have any headstones on them, but instead had sections of black ABS pipe sticking out of the ground. Paupers I thought, surprised that this was even allowed in a modern cemetery. Brian pointed to one of the unmarked graves and indicated that this was one of the plots I was looking for. This did not make any sense as the family must have spent a lot of money just shipping the casket across the Atlantic Ocean to Canada. They had money all right. Brian was not sure where the other was buried so he called in the foreman. Surprise, surprise the other unmarked grave was the other European. I took photographs of what there was in the area, including the surrounding "forest". A forest this was if you agree that trees 15 feet tall can be called trees rather than shrubs. Later I visited the Yellowknife Public Works department to fish for more information. Cheri Ducept, the secretary mentioned that a bylaw is being considered to require all graves to have a headstone. She also mentioned that burying the Europeans was quite a lot of trouble as their caskets were far larger than is normal. One of them even had a thermometer sticking out of it. A bylaw requiring that foreigners pay extra for burial is being considered she noted.



Cheri had been informed by Territorial Funeral Homes that one of the Europeans had apparently been first shipped to Rankin Inlet for burial in the permafrost, but the local native Indians had refused to allow burial in their cemetery. Territorial Funeral Homes became involved and the casket was shipped to Yellowknife for burial. According to Brian in May you hit frost about 4 feet deep in Lakeview Cemetary, but by October this is 8-10 feet deep if there is any permafrost at all. The graves of both Europeans were of the standard depth of 6 feet, so they are not situated in permafrost. I asked if there was a colder cemetery in the Yellowknife area and was told that there was an older one, but it suffered from a lot of ground water runoff and at least one buried body had resurfaced as a result.



I spent the rest of the day touring Yellowknife and marvelling that it could have highrises this far north. It is a "working" town and not a tourist attraction, unless you are hunting big game or diamonds. Nonetheless there was a very nice tourist information centre. There I learnt that almost 17,000 people lived in Yellowknife, that the average household income was $66,800 and that food prices were 37% higher than in Edmonton. I wondered what the average native Indian household income was. Normal temperatures for Oct 6'th were 4 to -2 C. This year was warmer with a range of 6 to 2 C. Record high of 16 C was in 1988. Record low of -10 C in 1979!

I decided to make one last visit to Lakeview Cemetery. I purchased a flashlight and shone this down the two ABS pipes on the graves to see if I could spot a thermometer. The pipes curved however and nothing was visible inside them. After arriving back in town I phoned Territorial Funeral Homes and ordered two brochures on headstones and grave caps be mailed to my address so I could forward these on to the parties concerned. The secretary Milly Pittner seemed to be all business where potential sales were at stake. She mentioned that the funeral director was Robert Jensen. If there are any further dealings with Territorial Funeral Homes regarding permafrost burial I recommend that all correspondence be with Robert.

After this business I took one last look around downtown Yellowknife. Then I left.



Subscription rates for Canadian Cryonics News are $10/year. ($14/year overseas)

To subscribe contact editor Ben Best at <benbest@io.org> or write PO Box 788 Station "A", Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5W 1G3 ($14 pa outside US or Canada, all back issues available on microfiche.)





Lithium chloride and autoimmune reactions.

by Douglas Skrecky



Lithium chloride injections can inhibit the development of autoimmune reactions in the short lived NZB/W mice strain. Untreated mice were all dead at 34 weeks of age, while 67% given lithium injections in the evening and 73% given morning injections were still alive at 44 weeks of age. By comparison injections of melatonin in the evening only slightly enhanced survival, while am injections of melatonin were significantly more effective and 25% of the treated mice were still alive at 44 weeks of age. The combination of lithium and melatonin yielded results equal to that of lithium alone. Thus the lithium effect is both much stronger and it is dominant. Treatment was stopped at 44 weeks of age, but survival was monitored in a few mice so as to assess low term survival. By 80 weeks of age 3 of 5 lithium & melatonin am treated mice, 2 of 5 given am lithium, 1 of 5 given pm lithium and none given pm lithium & melatonin were still alive. (1) So here too melatonin does not seem to improve on the effect of lithium by itself. Depressed human patients treated with lithium for more than 2 years had their risk of death from suicide and cardiovascular disease reduced to levels characterising the general population. (2)



Lithium Chloride Enhances Survival of NZB/W Lupus Mice: Influence of Melatonin and Timing of Treatment Int. J. Immunopharac. 17(7): 581-592 1995

Extended Survival of Patients on Long-Term Lithium Treatment Can. J. Psychiatry 40: 241-246 June 1995


Second Update on My Fly Experiments

by Douglas Skrecky





This is the second update on my fly experiments. There is now only one zero mortality milk bottle, that containing lycopene. The results are as follows:

  Day 21   Day 31  
    Mortality %
Supplement Alive Dead Alive Dead
Lipoic 4/5 55% 2/7 78%
Bbiotin 3/5 62 1/7 88
CLA 3/4 57 0/7 100
Forskolin 9/1 10 8/2 20 (frisky)
Glutamine 5/0 0 1/5 83
Lycopene 5/0 0 5/0 0 (frisky)
NADH 6/1 14 6/1 14
Pregnenolone 8/0 0 6/2 25 (frisky)
Pyroglutamic 5/3 38 4/4 50
RNA 4/3 43 0/7 100
Xanthophyll 5/3 38 6/2 25

The biggest change is in the glutamine bottle. All 5 flies died and another mysteriously appeared. A lot can happen in just 10 days in the life of a drosophilia melanogaster fly! In the xanthophyll group one fly that had been counted as dead (or non-moving) came back like lazarus in the day 31 count. Alas the flies in this group are all moving rather slowly and I fear for their continued existance. The same could be said of the flies in the NADH bottle, but here at least the mortality has not changed from day 21. The two bottles with 100% mortality, CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) and RNA are the only two bottles that the taurine larvicide failed to completely inhibit reproduction. I had to count only corpses here to estimate the number left alive of the original flies. The absence of a proper control group makes interpretation of these results rather problematic, as does the uncertain age of the flies at the start of the experiment (most were less than 26 days old then). Both of these deficiencies will be remedied with my second run, which I expect to start in a few weeks. This run will feature generally lower percentages of active ingrediants to avoid possible problems of toxicity. In order to quickly screen as large a number of supplements as possible I will be testing combinations mostly. In only three bottles do the flies still seem frisky or like to fly a lot. Mortality was less than 26% in all of these bottles: forskolin, lycopene and pregnenolone. The lycopene bottle has been proving to be very interesting since it is now the only zero mortality bottle. I will continue to monitor this experiment and will report on future developments. If you would like to do your own fly experiments formula 4-24 drosophilia medium (which includes a mold inhibitor) is available from: Carolina Biological Supply Company 2700 York Road Burlington, North Carolina USA 27215



I obtained my flies locally from the UBC fly lab. To obtain flies yourself call the biology department at your local university and ask for their fly lab.



Fetal Mouse Hearts Revived



by Douglas Skrecky



Fetal mouse hearts were revived successfully from liquid nitrogen storage back in 1974 by the MRC Transplantation Group at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada. Cryopreservation fluid included 10% DMSO and 10% FCS (fetal calf serum) in Hepes buffer. Deletion of either of these two components eliminated survival. In all 59% of 54 treated hearts used showed strong electrical activity after being thawed out. (Reference: Cryobiology 11: 28-32 1974)



After reading some of the comments I received about the above abstract on successful revival of frozen fetal mouse hearts I now feel my abstract was a little too brief and I would like to add some further details here. Here's why I think the solution to every cryonicists dream of reversible cryopreservation was to all intents and purposes solved over 30 years ago. The fetal mouse hearts used were about 1 mm in diameter. Now one problem extrapolating from small to large tissue samples is that large samples can not be cooled as rapidly as small ones. However high cooling rates were not employed so this is not a problem. The freezing rate was maintained by a regulated thermocouple between 0.5 and 0.7 C/min down to -100 C. Then the samples were exposed to liquid nitrogen vapour and further cooled to -196 C at 5 to 10 C/min. The hearts were stored at this temperature for 72 to 216 hours before being rewarmed. Since Biopreservation claims to possess the technology capable of cooling/heating a human body at up to 10 C/min, their technology should in principle be able to maintain good viability in a wide variety of tissues in entire human bodies down to liquid nitrogen temperatures.



Although relatively slow rates of cooling were employed, the heating was much more rapid. Two heating techniques were used. A warm bath was used to heat the hearts at about 150 C/min and as an alternative microwaves were used to heat at about 200 C/min. How much slower the heating could have been without compromising viability is unknown here since it was not tested. There was no difference between 150 and 200 C/min. I suspect, but can not prove that 10 C/min may be too slow with the solutions used. This was either

A) Eagle's minimal essential medium containing Hepes buffer, 10% fetal calf serum and 10% DMSO, or

B) McCoy's 5a medium containing Hepes buffer, 10% fetal calf serum and 10% DMSO.

Two other solutions failed to preserve heart function. These were

C) Cross solution containing 10% DMSO, but no fetal calf serum or other proteins and

D) the same as solution A, but without the DMSO.

Based on the excellent results with solutions A & B and negative results with C & D it seems that both fetal calf serum proteins and DMSO were required for success. With possibly a little improvement in the solution I strongly suspect that reversible whole body resuscitation from liquid nitrogen storage should be possible in the near future. Ethylene glycol is less toxic to hearts than DMSO for example.



How to Save Your Teeth

by Jim Foster <71222,1106@compuserve.com>



GOODGUMS.TXT, v1.0, August 8, 1995



GOODGUMS.TXT is maintained and occasionally updated by Jim Foster as a service of the Therapeutic Nutrient Information Clearinghouse (TNIC), a non-profit educational service providing practical information about state-of-the-art nutritional treatment for the major chronic degenerative diseases, including cancer, heart disease, alcoholism, diabetes as well as many other man-made disease processes.



In the interests of objectivity, TNIC accepts no advertising and has no financial interest in products, companies or organizations mentioned in TNIC files. TNIC provides information only.



Please contact me if you have information which you feel should be added to this file or if you feel that any of this information is inaccurate or misleading. Suggestions and corrections are always welcome. If the information provided in this file has been useful to you I would very much appreciate hearing from you.



Contact Jim Foster at:

Internet: 71222,1106@compuserve.com

FAX: 217-344-8728

U.S. mail: c/o TNIC, P.O. Box 3008, Urbana, IL 61801-2824 USA



The purposes of this file are to...



(1) give a nutshell review of a hard-to-find, one-stop guide book to non- toxic, holistic dentistry, and



(2) list additional related information resources.



The book:



How to Save Your Teeth, Toxic-free Preventive

Dentistry. David Kennedy, D.D.S., Health Action Press, Delaware, Ohio, 1993. Paper, 174 pages. Illustrated with line drawings and black & white photographs. ISBN 0-91357-04-0.



The author, Dr. David Kennedy, is currently President of the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology. Dr. Kennedy has been practicing preventive dentistry for over 20 years in San Diego, California. He holds a bachelor's degree in Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology from the University of Kansas and a Doctor of Dental Surgery from the University of Missouri at Kansas City. He has lectured internationally to dentists and professionals on preventive and restorative dentistry and on the hazards of mercury and fluoride.





"Sixty percent of all 15-year-olds and ninety percent of adults over age 35 will have some degree of progressive gum disease."



--from the Preface





When I found this little jewel of a book I had been seeing a conventional, conservative and likable dentist for early periodontal disease. Dr. Kennedy's guidance quickly changed the way I care for my teeth. His detailed but clear suggestions made sense right away. Now I feel that I have arranged the best of both conventional treatment and progressive, non-toxic, alternative treatment.



The book covers the following topics and considerably more as well.

* Periodontal disease, non-surgical treatment

* Gum problems, gingivitis, non-surgical treatment

* Root problems

* Tooth decay

* Details on easy oral hygiene procedures

* Toothpastes, mouthwash, floss

* Mercury toxicity & "silver" fillings

* Fluoride toxicity

* Dental amalgams

* Inlays, crowns, bridges, partials, dentures

* X-rays

* Tooth bleaching

* Nutrition for dental health

* Where to buy oral hygiene equipment & what brands to buy

* Book references, literature citations

* Additional resources, organizations

* Referral sources for progressive dentists



Newsletter recommendation--



The Holistic Dental Digest

263 West End Avenue, #2A

New York, NY 10023



Send personal check for $9.50 made out to "The Once Daily, Inc.".

Editor: Jerome S. Mittelman, D.D.S.



The Holistic Dental Digest provides a wide range of useful information that is difficult to find elsewhere. Emphasis is on non-toxic dentistry and saving your teeth in the context of alternative medicine. It's an interesting little newsletter and a bargain for $9.50 if you can put up with the informal and corny presentation and second-rate cartoons. I recommend trying it for a year.



International Dental Health Foundation

11484 Washington Plaza West, Suite 30

Reston, Virginia 22090

800-368-3396

703-471-8349



Provides information on the Keyes Technique, a non-surgical gum treatment protocol.



Again, please contact me if you have a favourable experience resulting from information contained in this file or if you feel that any of this information is inaccurate or misleading. Suggestions and corrections are always welcome.



This file is for educational purposes only and does not purport to provide medical advice. It is not intended to substitute for advice from a qualified health professional. If you are in need of medical advice, you should consult with a doctor or other health professional licensed according to the laws of your country

.

If the information provided in this file has been useful to you I would very much appreciate hearing from you.



(C) Jim Foster 1995. all rights reserved.

This file may be distributed freely in cyberspace or print, but only in complete and unedited form.



A Unique Method to Raise Funds



by Thomas G. Mahoney <excelife@sprynet.com>



There has been a relatively recent breakthrough in determining the cause of cellular aging and also into a method to intervene in this process. The research being done into the enzyme telomerase and the ends of chromosomes known as telomeres is very exciting, (see attached).



However, most of the research, especially by Geron, Inc., is into how to inactivate the enzyme telomerase in malignant cells. This is, of course, important and ground-breaking work and if successful could stop most if not all cancers from growing.



But, they're missing a much more productive line of research. That is into controlling or limiting the functioning of telomerase to allow for the controlled growth of human tissue. There may already be some research into this area but if so they are not publishing their work.



To rectify this situation and to guarantee public access to not only the research but also any results from the research, Lifeline Laboratories, Inc. has come up with a unique method to raise funds to support this line of investigation.



We are selling a "Certificate of Access"sm. which give the purchaser first right to purchase any and all products developed by, for or in participation with Lifeline Labs. This would also include any products we might license or distribute.



There are two primary reasons a person might be interested in purchasing a "Certificate of Access"sm. First and foremost is to support research into the bio-chemical basis of human aging. If we can fund research into controlling telomerase there is no telling where the results could lead us. Now you could donate money to a University and designate it to fund this type of research but if ten or twenty thousand of us join together then we can have a significant impact on this line of research. With sufficient support we could even open our own laboratory dedicated to the purpose of researching the fundamental causes and cures of aging and age related diseases.



Secondly, if your at all familiar with the FDA, the organ transplant waiting lists, the lotteries for rare aids drugs, and HMOs or other insurance companies then the issue of access to innovative medical treatments could be of some importance. Our "Certificate of Access"sm. guarantees the right to first acceptance of any and all products Lifeline Labs develops, licenses or distributes, in order of the Certificates issuance.



Now we're not selling any snake oil or vitamins. As you can see in the attached articles there is sound scientific evidence that the line of research we are proposing to fund could result in some fundamental changes in cellular senescence which could actually result in extending the lifespan of persons who are now alive. This hypothesis is supported and documented in a book Reversing Human Aging by Michael Fossel,PhD,MD, William Morrow & Company.



Any and all products Lifeline Labs. produce or distribute will go through normal FDA approval procedures, including vigorous clinical trials, to verify their effectiveness and safety. But if someone in the Government or in related industries tries to interfere in the publics right to access to both the research and the results, then we know ways around them. Just like our "Certificate of Access"sm. bypasses the S.E.C. bureaucracy by having no potential for monetary return and thus not being a "security", we can bypass the FDA by obtaining approvals in Europe or other foreign countries prior to FDA approval.



And finally, our disclaimer; in this as in most human endeavors, there are no guarantees that the research will be successful. The only thing that we can guarantee is that we will do our damnedest to make it successful. We really think we can make a difference.



If you or anyone you know are interested in helping fund this research and guarding the publics right to access to both the research and the results then please e-mail us at excelife@sprynet.com or call toll-free at 1-(800)579-5700.



Sincerely, Thomas G. Mahoney, Pres.



Feel free to copy this and forward it to anyone else you think might be interested.



Lifeline Laboratories, Inc.

excelife@sprynet.com

8440 MAPLE PL. STE. 101

RANCHO CUCAMONGA, CA. 91730



Telephone (800) 579-5700

Fax (909) 481-4724



Third Update on My Drosophila Experiments

by Douglas Skrecky



This is the third update on my fly experiments. There are no longer any zero mortality bottles as lycopene has passed the baton of lowest mortality to NADH, with forskolin in second place. The flies I am using are the Oregon R strain of drosophila melanogaster, which has an average life span of 55 days at room temperature. Assuming an average age of 10 days at the start of the experiment it is apparent even without a control bottle that most of the bottles have underperformed, possibly because excessively high and toxic amounts of supplements were used in many of the bottles. Nonetheless NADH and forskolin appear to be beating the averages a bit at this point. It is interesting that although one out of 7 NADH fed flies died before day 21, none has expired since then. I intend to continue doing screening experiments (though with a proper control) with a second run soon. This will commence as soon as a shipment of fly food arrives. I've bought enough of this food to last till the end of the century I think, so there will be no further delays.

Supplement   Mortality
  Day 21 Day 31 Day 43
Lipoic 55% 78% 62
Biotin   88 100
CLA 57 100 -
Forskolin 10 20 20
Glutamine 0 83 83
Lycopene 0 0 40
NADH 14 14 14
Pregnenolone 0 25 63
Pyroglutamic 38 50 75
RNA 43 100 -
Xanthophyll 38 25 75



The Fourth Update on My Fly Experiments



by Douglas Skrecky



This is the fourth update on my fly experiments. I have started the second run of my experiments now, testing an additional 23 supplements plus a control group. The two front runners of the first run are still NADH and forskolin. The results are as follows:

First Run Mortality
Supplement DAY 21 DAY 31 DAY 43 DAY 56
alpha lipoic 55% 78% 89% 100%
Biotin 62 88 100 -
CLA 57 100 - -
Forskolin 10 20 20 50
Glutamine 0 83 83 83
Lycopene 0 0 40 80
NADH 14 14 14 43
Pregnenolone 0 25 63 88
Pyroglutaminc 38 50 75 88
RNA 43 100 - -
Xanthophyll 38 25 75 88

Although most of the supplements in this first run were probably fed at excessive and toxic levels, with one exception I am not inclined to further investigate these since I consider it unlikely that even at an optimal dosage that any of these could dramatically extend life span, based on the poor results thus far. Rather than waste further time investigating a few supplements at different dosages I am instead pushing on and testing other things. The purpose of these screening experiments is not to search for things that increase life span by 20%, since this has already been done, but instead to gamble for a big breakthrough at least doubling the life span. Then after double checking and further validating such a life span doubling supplement with flies, I would seek to see if this had similar effects in other animal species, including mammals.



One supplement that seems to be of some interest from the first run is NADH. Assuming that the flies were on average 10 days old at the start of the experiment, then NADH fed flies have a 43% mortality at about 66 days of age. In one study the mortality at 66 days of age for the Oregon R strain of drosophilia melanogaster flies maintained at 25 C was 80%. (Experimental Gerontology 26: 487-494 1991). To be frank these results are not very interesting and might be due to chance. However due to the known instability of NADH in solution it is extremely unlikely that any NADH still exists in the fly food. It is possible that dramatically better results might be obtained with a more stable NADH precursor. Two such precursors are niacin and nicotinamide. Since niacin is known to exert toxic effects at high dosages, I chose to test the less toxic nicotinamide. I also spotted an interesting synergism between nicotinamide and coenzyme Q10 in protecting against dopamine depletion resulting from MPTP neurotoxicity. Nicotinamide and coenzyme Q10 both offered about 50% protection to a medium dose of MPTP, while the combination nicotinamide/coenzyme Q10 offered 100% protection. (Experimental Neurology 132: 279-283 1995) The second run thus is testing nicotinamide, coenzyme Q10 and their combination on fly longevity. The dosages used in the second run are lower than in the first to avoid possible toxic effects. In the research done by others increases in fly life span have been found at a low dosage, but decreases were sometimes noted for high dosages. An example is pantothenic acid. At 50 mg/100 ml medium it increases fly life span by 23%, while at 200 mg/100 ml it decreases it by 15%. (Experimental Gerontology 6: 133-151 1971) Now 100 ml of medium is about 100 calories. So a human eating the 2000 calories/day of the medium would be getting 1 gm/day at the lower dose and 4 grams at the higher dose. Now it just so happens that C57 mice fed what amounts to the lower concentration of pantothenic acid lived 18% longer than control mice. (Proc Soc. Exp. Biol. & Med. 99(3): 632-633 1958) Yet when rodents were fed an (apparently higher) dosage of panthothenic acid in an as yet unpublished study the life span was ontrol reduced. Not all supplements show such toxcity at high dosages, but this is an unnecessary risk I do not wish to take with my second run. Since active ingrediants are diluted in the spices I am testing these at a dosage of 500 mg/100 ml of 4-24 medium. This works out to about 10 grams/day of the spices for a human. The more concentrated supplements I am testing at lower dosages than this. The second run is as follows:

  mg/100 ml
Control -
Nicotinamide 83
Co Q10 80
Nicotinamide+Co Q10 83+80
Acetylcarnitine(ALC) 83
ALC+Co Q10 83+80
Basil 500
Bromelain 83
Caraway 500
Cloves 500
Cumin 500
Chlorophyll ?
Curcumin 50
Dextromethorphan 20
Fenugreek 500
Ginger 500
Green tea 666
Leucoanthocyanins 67
mace 500
Nutmeg 500
Oregano 500
Rosemary 500
Sage 500
Thyme 500

I am also adding a little more taurine larvicide in all of the bottles used in the second run (1000 mg/100 ml), since a few larva survived in the CLA and the RNA bottles in the first run. Note that the concentration of chlorophyll is unknown since the Swiss brand chlorophyll liquid I used in place of medium water did not specify this. Although the life extension movement has largely ignored spices, this itself yields a possibility that good results might be obtained with one or more of them. Also if certain Germain Health bureaucrats succeed in banning many supplements world-wide through their Codex/Gestapo organization spices are going to be one of the things that will still be left available for use as life extension supplements. In my native Canada the local bureaucrats at the Health Protection Branch are acting in concert with the Codex and have banned quite a few items, including DHEA. Canadians will now be liable to arrest if they purchase DHEA, since this is now classified as a controlled drug. However I do not wish to overstate the threat to the health and longevity that bureaucrats pose. They are obsolete dinosaurs, still dangerous perhaps to the unwary or unwise, but little threat to the small nimble life extending mammals that will one day inherit the earth from them. For instance if Canadians wish to boost their DHEA levels back to youthful levels, they can purchase the DHEA precursor pregnenolone, which is classified as a prescription drug. The primary limitation for life extensionists is not government saurians hooting and stomping, but instead it is the simple lack of life span data on supplements. We need to know to which ones work (and don't work) and at what dosage as well as the effect of combining various supplements. I intend to help generate this data. As I have already stated I intend to concentrate on supplements that have never been tested before for life span effects on any animal species. Of the items in the second run only green tea and coenzyme Q10 have, to my knowledge been previously tested. A very small amount of green tea substituted for water in the medium increased life span in flies by 8.3%. (Mechanisms of Ageing and Development 67: 227-237 1993) I was wondering what would happen if a larger amount was used. Also large doses of the green tea polyphenol epigallocathechin-3-O-gallate (EGCG) fed to stroke-prone hypertensive rats (35 grams for a 70 kg human equivalent) increased survival from 40% to 80% after a year, despite not affecting blood pressure. (Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology and Physiology Sup. 1: S302-S303 1995)



The Fifth Update on My Fly Experiments



This is the fifth update on my fly experiments. The day 67 census of the bottles from the first run found a single fly alive in each of the forskolin, NADH and xanthophyll bottles. All flies are dead in the alpha lipoic, biotin, CLA, glutamine, lycopene, pregnenolone, RNA and pyroglutamic bottles. I regard this first run as essentially finished.



The preliminary results obtained in the second run were not what I had expected. However I have an explanation for these results, which may even have some human application.

Second Run Day 11 Census
Group Alive/Dead Survival
Control 5/3 63%
Nicotinamide 6/1 86
CoenzymeQ10 7/0 100
Nicotinamide/CoQ10 6/1 86
Acetylcarnitine 6/1 86
ALC/COQ10 7/0 100
Basil 4/1 80
Bromelain 7/2 78
Caraway 4/2 67
Chlorophyll 7/0 100
Cloves 5/1 83
Cumin 7/0 100
Curcumin 5/2 71
Dextromethorphan 5/1 83
Fenugreek 4/1 80
Ginger 4/2 67
Green Tea 6/0 100
Leucoanthocyanins 6/1 86
Mace 5/2 71
Nutmeg 5/2 71
Oregano 7/1 88
Rosemary 9/1 90
Sage 8/0 100
Thyme 8/0 100
 

Some spices with bactericidal properties maintained survival at 100%. Although there has been much talk about free radicals and aging, in the present case my guess is that it is pathogens that are proving to be the main longevity limiting factor. Although drosophila medium 4-24 does contain a mold inhibitor, I suspect that it does not offer adequate protection against bacteria and viruses. When I examined the scientific literature on the life spans of control Oregon R drosophila melanogaster flies fed medium 4-24 I found great variations. Although some experiments found average life spans of around 55 days at room temperature, one found this to be as high as 81 days. Why the variation?



This same type of inconsistency occurs with rodents as well. For example in one experiment the average life span of control Wistar rats was found to be 75.5 weeks, while rats that were calorie restricted lived 138.2 weeks. (Gerontology 28: 233-241 1982) This is strong support for the effectiveness of caloric restriction in prolonging life span. However in another experiment control Wistar rats lived to an average of 133.1 weeks, while rats that were calorie restricted after 52 weeks of age lived an average of 150 weeks. (Journal of Gerontology 41(1): 13-19 1986) Control rats live either 75.5 or 133.1 weeks for apparently no reason at all if pathogens are not a factor.



Pathogens may have a significant effect on human longevity. Viruses can cause cancer, while some bacteria are suspected of promoting cardiovascular disease. Pathogens may be an primary, though indirect cause of age associated mortality in humans, as well as in rats and flies.



One of the active ingredients in Listerine mouthwash is thymol, which is derived from thyme. I am starting some new breeding bottles which contain added thyme to act as a bactericide. Flies that are born in these I will use to start my third run, which will also contain a bactericide (possibly thyme) in all of the bottles to give a level playing field. If pathogens are killing off flies prematurely I want to eliminate this factor before testing other things.

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