X-Message-Number: 13848
Date: Mon, 5 Jun 2000 21:39:20 EDT
Subject: Biogerontology, Baba

Suresh I.S. Rattan (Ph.D., D.Sc.) has kindly sent me a copy of the first 
issue of the new journal, BIOGERONTOLOGY, of which he is Editor-in-Chief; and 
also a copy of a little book he wrote called WHERE'S BABA GONE? Both will be 
reviewed at more length in a future issue of THE IMMORTALIST, but just a 
little herewith.

The book, written from the viewpoint of a young girl, is about her facing the 
fact of death, and in particular her grandfather's. It is amazingly well 
done--scientific and honest enough to shed light on some of the errors of 
death apologia, yet kind and sympathetic enough to recognize the 
admissibility of some sources of "false" comfort. There are many nice 
drawings illustrating the story, which is laid in India.

The journal's initial issue has a short editorial by Dr. Rattan, with one 
paragraph being a sort of mission statement:

"The journal BIOGERONTOLOGY is, therefore, a brand-new platform for 
describing the biology of aging, for putting forward bold, innovative, and 
testable hypotheses for understanding the mechanisms of aging, and for 
developing efficient strategies for intervention in the process of aging."

Although it could hardly be clearer that Dr. Suresh is what we would call an 
immortalist, this first issue has both an opinion piece and an interview that 
emphasize skepticism and conservatism. 

The opinion piece is by Eric Le Bourg, and chastises various individuals and 
entities for excessive optimism or misleading enthusiasm. Those chastised 
include Dr. Ronald Klatz (A4M) and the Life Extension Foundation (Kent and 
Faloon). However, Le Bourg, in my opinion, on a hasty reading, impairs his 
own credibility by claiming, in effect, that it is very nearly scientifically 
or mathematically impossible for median longevity to reach 150 by the year 
2100.........At the same time, of course, it is certainly true that there 
have been and continue to be many instances of hot air,  jumping the gun, and 
misleading the buying public.

The interview is with Leonard Hayflick, who is on the Editorial Board of the 
journal, and well known to Cryonet readers. He remains uncertain even that 
greatly extended life is a good thing, and does not think aging should be 
regarded as a disease.

The first issue also includes four review articles, three research articles, 
and one on methods, in addition to the interview and the opinion piece. One 
of the research articles is about slowing of aging and inhibition of 
spontaneous carcinogenesis in rats by use of the immunomodulatory synthetic 
dipeptide L-Glu-L-Trp, by Anasimov, Khavinson, and Morozov.

Dr. Rattan is based in Denmark, University of Aarhus, and has colleagues 
around the world.

Robert Ettinger
Cryonics Institute
Immortalist Society

Rate This Message: http://www.cryonet.org/cgi-bin/rate.cgi?msg=13848