Review: Journeying with Grace Nichols
Arts
38 views
38 views

Review: Journeying with Grace Nichols

Kate Dennett - October 12, 2018
University of Sussex Joins Libraries Week
Arts
86 views
86 views

University of Sussex Joins Libraries Week

Kate Dennett - October 6, 2018
Oscar Jerome at The Hope and Ruin
Interview
74 views
74 views

Oscar Jerome at The Hope and Ruin

Alex Leissle - October 4, 2018
Why we should all embrace drag
Lifestyle
100 views
100 views

Why we should all embrace drag

Chris Ahjem - October 3, 2018
In Conversation with Alannah Myles
Arts
132 views
132 views

In Conversation with Alannah Myles

Anastasia Konstantinidou - October 3, 2018
Brighton Needs You!
News
104 views
104 views

Brighton Needs You!

Anonymous - September 28, 2018
Books Every Fresher Should Read
Arts
240 views
240 views

Books Every Fresher Should Read

Anonymous - September 19, 2018
France in Fine Fettle
Sports
182 views
182 views

France in Fine Fettle

Anonymous - September 17, 2018
Dive into Brightonian Culture
Arts
194 views
194 views

Dive into Brightonian Culture

Anonymous - September 17, 2018
Oh, baby, baby, did you see Britney at Pride?
Arts
221 views
221 views

Oh, baby, baby, did you see Britney at Pride?

Anastasia Konstantinidou - September 15, 2018
Joe Armon-Jones Brings Jazz to Patterns
Music
26 views
26 views

Joe Armon-Jones Brings Jazz to Patterns

Lara Antoine - October 13, 2018
212 Views

Scientists aim to solve the problem of aging

Many Doctor Who fans will remember the somewhat strange image of The Face of Boe who, and I hope I am not revealing any spoilers for readers, is revealed to be the visage of Captain Jack Harkness after living for over 1000 years.

While the Doctor himself can regenerate, the Captain simply cannot die and is at the full mercy of the ravages of time. This is one of the first images of a 1000 year old human that Science Fiction has been able to conjure up, something beyond the realms of reality.

However, Dr. Joon Yun, a hedge fund manager in Silicon Valley, believes this not to be the case. The Palo Alto Investors President has set up the Palo Alto Longevity Prize in order to “solve aging”. In fact, one of the scientists involved has speculated that the first person to live for 1000 years may already be alive.

Although that prospect is somewhat fanciful, the aim is apparently to get humans to live to more than 120 years old, yet this seemingly simple problem is slightly more complex once we analyse the question itself.

The aim of the project is to find the root cause of aging and it is currently believed there are four major factors that contribute to this process. They are the problem of telomeres, oxidative stress, glycation and a process termed ‘chronological aging’ each of which we shall look at in turn.

A telomere is the term for the end of a molecule of DNA which is included to stop the ends of this molecule from being cut short when the DNA in a cell is replicated. The problem being that the addition of these short DNA sequences is reliant on another molecule known as telomerase. As the production of telomerase decreases over time, the telomeres themselves shorten and eventually the DNA molecule itself is shortened and cannot perform its functions and dies.

Many believe this to be an unavoidable imperfection of the process of DNA replication. On the other hand, there is also a case to say that it is a well placed one. Telomerase is one factor in the uncontrolled growth of tumours and it is not yet known as to how a degradation resistant form of this enzyme might affect the body negatively.

Oxidative stress is the damage to DNA and other molecules by the reactions of oxygen. Whilst oxygen is of course vital to our survival, it is also harmful to many processes in the body and brain. Its reactions will on a few occasions leave residual damage to DNA, fats and proteins among other molecules in the body. Although this damage is rare, over time it accumulates, affecting bodily functions.

Thirdly, we take a brief look at glycation. This is another unfortunate side effect of an essential molecule for us. Glucose can very occasionally bind to DNA molecules and other important molecules in the body. This can change their shape and severely inhibit their function. Although individually, the effect of this damage is unnoticeable, again the accumulation is what eventually causes the effects of aging.

The fourth factor mentioned is ambiguously known as ‘chronological aging’ and is the umbrella term for all minor effects of damage primarily to our DNA, but also to other molecules in the body that, like the afore mentioned processes, accumulates over time.

Things such as UV radiation from the environment, mishaps in DNA replication and even many foodstuffs we eat have what is known as ‘mutagenic potential’.

Far from meaning they can grant you super powers, unfortunately this only refers to their ability to cause minor alterations to DNA molecules. As alarming as this could appear, the damage goes on to billions of people and organisms across the globe and only in the vast minority of cases, 1.1×10-8%, does a mutation occur.

It would appear that the initial effort by Dr. Aubrey de Gray is focussing on the genetic level to analyse the differences between older and younger people, however on current projections it does seem difficult.

It would also be worth noting the impact on the species of such a scientific breakthrough. With the current advances in medicine, over the past 200 years our global population has grown from 1bn to roughly 7bn. This has had a huge drain on global resources and however, wonderful an effect of extending lifespan would have on countless microcosms of society, it is worrying to think of what an effect a further decreased death rate would have.

We have seen in China how rapid growth of population has an effect and their choice of control was to limit birth rates. The few choices to limit population growth in this case should this be available en masse would seem to be totalitarian at best. It is a harsh but nonetheless true fact that the Earth has a limit of physical resources, the most rigidly limited being actual space!

On the other hand should the technology be exclusive, it poses a more difficult philosophical question of how could it ever be fairly decided who should receive it? This prize shows the need of the individual over the need of the species under the guise of the opposite. As a species this would appear to pose more problems than it actually solves. Unfortunately, however amazing the benefits would be in the short term, the long term would show this to be more fantastical than fantastic.

Daniel Stuart

Get the best viral stories straight into your inbox!

Don't worry, we don't spam
Review: Journeying with Grace Nichols
Arts
38 views
38 views

Review: Journeying with Grace Nichols

Kate Dennett - October 12, 2018
University of Sussex Joins Libraries Week
Arts
86 views
86 views

University of Sussex Joins Libraries Week

Kate Dennett - October 6, 2018
Oscar Jerome at The Hope and Ruin
Interview
74 views
74 views

Oscar Jerome at The Hope and Ruin

Alex Leissle - October 4, 2018
Why we should all embrace drag
Lifestyle
100 views
100 views

Why we should all embrace drag

Chris Ahjem - October 3, 2018
In Conversation with Alannah Myles
Arts
132 views
132 views

In Conversation with Alannah Myles

Anastasia Konstantinidou - October 3, 2018
Brighton Needs You!
News
104 views
104 views

Brighton Needs You!

Anonymous - September 28, 2018
Books Every Fresher Should Read
Arts
240 views
240 views

Books Every Fresher Should Read

Anonymous - September 19, 2018
France in Fine Fettle
Sports
182 views
182 views

France in Fine Fettle

Anonymous - September 17, 2018
Dive into Brightonian Culture
Arts
194 views
194 views

Dive into Brightonian Culture

Anonymous - September 17, 2018
Oh, baby, baby, did you see Britney at Pride?
Arts
221 views
221 views

Oh, baby, baby, did you see Britney at Pride?

Anastasia Konstantinidou - September 15, 2018
Joe Armon-Jones Brings Jazz to Patterns
Music
26 views
26 views

Joe Armon-Jones Brings Jazz to Patterns

Lara Antoine - October 13, 2018

Leave a Reply

Join the Badger Team

Apply today!

Latest Posts

Review: Journeying with Grace Nichols
Arts
38 views
Arts
38 views

Review: Journeying with Grace Nichols

Kate Dennett - October 12, 2018

In celebration of Black History Month, Sussex Student Union organised a number of interesting talks and events across October. One of these exciting opportunities was a chance…

Review: Suzanne Ciani & Martin Messier at the ACCA
Film & Theatre
39 views
Film & Theatre
39 views

Review: Suzanne Ciani & Martin Messier at the ACCA

Anonymous - October 10, 2018

At the outset, Mr Messier’s FIELD at once invoked The Matrix and Daedalus’ Boiler Room set.  The basic concept of this mixed media performance relies on transducer…

Shelf Help: The Organisation Encouraging Self-Development
Arts
65 views
Arts
65 views

Shelf Help: The Organisation Encouraging Self-Development

Kate Dennett - October 10, 2018

To commemorate to this year’s Mental Health Awareness Day, I found it increasingly difficult to draw attention to just one book of relevance in recognition of this…

Freshers’ Week from a second year perspective
Campus News
64 views
Campus News
64 views

Freshers’ Week from a second year perspective

Chris Ahjem - October 9, 2018

Annually, the University of Sussex welcomes thousands of new students to our Falmer campus and every year the Student’s Union and Brighton based clubs and businesses increase…

National Badger Day: 10 fun facts you might not have known
News
99 views
News
99 views

National Badger Day: 10 fun facts you might not have known

Chris Ahjem - October 6, 2018

To celebrate National Badger Day here are 10 fun facts about our animal kingdom namesake Badgers can run up to 16-19 miles per hour which is the…

University of Sussex Joins Libraries Week
Arts
86 views
Arts
86 views

University of Sussex Joins Libraries Week

Kate Dennett - October 6, 2018

This coming week marks the celebration of Libraries Week, an event solely dedicated to praising the work of libraries across the UK. This annual event is taking…

Oscar Jerome at The Hope and Ruin
Interview
74 views
Interview
74 views

Oscar Jerome at The Hope and Ruin

Alex Leissle - October 4, 2018

The young star is often a tricky title to navigate. There are the big names, who explode into the world with noise, bright light, a big record…

How Fenty Beauty changed the face of the makeup industry
Lifestyle
98 views
Lifestyle
98 views

How Fenty Beauty changed the face of the makeup industry

Rachel Badham - October 3, 2018

Fenty Beauty, launched in September last year, is a makeup line created by global superstar Robyn Rihanna Fenty, better known as Rihanna. It’s not uncommon for celebrity…

Why we should all embrace drag
Lifestyle
100 views
Lifestyle
100 views

Why we should all embrace drag

Chris Ahjem - October 3, 2018

Once an art form disregarded by many, 2018 bears witness to the continuous rise of drag as a legitimate, celebrated art. Spearheaded by RuPaul’s Drag Race, drag…

In Conversation with Alannah Myles
Arts
132 views
Arts
132 views

In Conversation with Alannah Myles

Anastasia Konstantinidou - October 3, 2018

This week we had the pleasure of interviewing Alannah Myles, the 1991 Grammy winner for best female rock vocal performance for her outstanding vocal abilities for the…

Brighton Needs You!
News
104 views
News
104 views

Brighton Needs You!

Anonymous - September 28, 2018

Brighton is a vibrant and thriving city that many students at Sussex are lucky enough to call home. But there are many in the area in need…

Books Every Fresher Should Read
Arts
240 views
Arts
240 views

Books Every Fresher Should Read

Anonymous - September 19, 2018

Starting university comes with both exciting but potentially daunting changes, with both moving away from home and studying at degree level posing to be two new challenges.…

INCREDIBLES 2: The Sequel with a Feminist Twist
Film & Theatre
173 views
Film & Theatre
173 views

INCREDIBLES 2: The Sequel with a Feminist Twist

Olek Młyński - September 18, 2018

One key film in the development of anyone who grew up in the early 2000s was The Incredibles (2004). It’s comedy, vibrancy, and general sense of fun…

France in Fine Fettle
Sports
182 views
Sports
182 views

France in Fine Fettle

Anonymous - September 17, 2018

Prior to the start of the quadrennial tournament this summer, football fans across the world grew sceptical over Russia’s credentials and ability to host the most prestigious…

Dive into Brightonian Culture
Arts
194 views
Arts
194 views

Dive into Brightonian Culture

Anonymous - September 17, 2018

Boredom is impossible when you throw yourself into everything this weird and wonderful city has to offer. The specific and unique cultural wonders of Brighton are indeed…

Oh, baby, baby, did you see Britney at Pride?
Arts
221 views
Arts
221 views

Oh, baby, baby, did you see Britney at Pride?

Anastasia Konstantinidou - September 15, 2018

During this year’s Pride Festival, Brighton had the honour of welcoming international pop star and voice of the early 2000s, Britney Spears, to the main stage. Undoubtedly,…

Union obliterates the debate – unwritten requirement used to shut down free speech debate
Campus News
1281 views1
Campus News
1281 views1

Union obliterates the debate – unwritten requirement used to shut down free speech debate

Jordan Wright - April 27, 2018

Student society Liberate the Debate’s most recent event was cancelled over a lack of compliance with the Students' Union's (USSU) requirement for a neutral chair - a…

Joe Armon-Jones Brings Jazz to Patterns
Music
26 views
Music
26 views

Joe Armon-Jones Brings Jazz to Patterns

Lara Antoine - October 13, 2018

Photo by Vojta Dvrocek Whether you’ve seen him in Ezra Collective or featuring alongside other breakthrough neo-jazz artists like Mr Jukes. Pianist Joe Armon-Jones is no stranger…

“Climax” review – The return of the French provocateur
Arts
38 views
Arts
38 views

“Climax” review – The return of the French provocateur

Olek Młyński - October 11, 2018

The newest film from the notorious Gaspar Noé was so critically acclaimed at the Cannes Film Festival that the director himself could not believe it. Climax opens…

Kode9 & Burial – Fabriclive 100
Music
83 views
Music
83 views

Kode9 & Burial – Fabriclive 100

Ryan Bridgewater - October 5, 2018

Released 28th September Available on: CD/Vinyl/Download   The anticipation couldn’t have been greater when the final instalment in London nightclub Fabric’s legendary DJ mix series was announced…

News
64 views

Maniac: a madcap adventure into troubled minds

Olek Młyński - October 5, 2018

With the release of Maniac, Netflix once again proves itself as an artistic powerhouse. This mini-series is a whirlwind of creativity containing often confusing, madcap ideas. But,…

Nike cash in on Kaepernick campaign
Sports
62 views
Sports
62 views

Nike cash in on Kaepernick campaign

James Cohen - October 4, 2018

In 1988 Nike premiered their, now infamous, “Just Do It” campaign, showing 80-year-old Walt Stack jogging across the Golden Gate Bridge. 30 years and a lot of…

Machine Learning for an Efficient Future
Science
96 views
Science
96 views

Machine Learning for an Efficient Future

ecrm20 - October 4, 2018

My project is about how we can explain the predictions made by machine learning algorithms. For example, if we have an algorithm that tells us whether an…

Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar Due to Close
Music
107 views
Music
107 views

Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar Due to Close

Dan Miller - October 4, 2018

[caption id="attachment_35890" align="alignnone" width="4544"] Photo by Lara Antoine[/caption]   The surprising news was released via the venue’s Facebook page on Tuesday afternoon, announcing:    "There are far too many…

Where did you Come from Where did you Escargot?  Martlets Snailway appears in Brighton and Hove
News
93 views
News
93 views

Where did you Come from Where did you Escargot? Martlets Snailway appears in Brighton and Hove

Jessica Hubbard - October 3, 2018

Colourful Snail statues have appeared across Brighton and Hove. The Snails are part of an art trail turned fundraising initiative by Martlets, a hospice and charity. Fifteen of…

In conversation with Novympia at The Glitter Ball
Interview
104 views
Interview
104 views

In conversation with Novympia at The Glitter Ball

Chris Ahjem - October 3, 2018

Towards the start of The Glitter Ball, I managed to chat with Nova and Olympia (with interruptions from Charmaine Diamond White) about what drag means to them,…

Interview
57 views

In conversation with Alfie Ordinary and Baby at The Glitter Ball

Chris Ahjem - October 3, 2018

During the course of the night, I managed to sit down with Alfie and Baby to interview them about their start in drag, how LGBTQ+ students should…

In conversation with DragSoc’s committee members at The Glitter Ball
Interview
68 views
Interview
68 views

In conversation with DragSoc’s committee members at The Glitter Ball

Chris Ahjem - October 3, 2018

I was lucky enough to be given the chance to watch DragSoc’s amazing Glitter Ball and then interview the performers in the packed Activities Office staff room…