One of the questions in the Scientific American interview of one of the top gerontologists, Judy Campisi, is really intriguing. Here’s the question and Dr. Campisi’s answer:
What would you say is one of the biggest mysteries of aging research?
Why do organisms with remarkable genetic similarity have sometimes remarkable differences in life span?
We know that for the most part, many of the processes that go on in the human body also go on in yeast and mice. Yet, yeast live a few days, a mouse lives about three years, and people live for decades. We really do not know what evolution has done to take basically the same genes and produce different life spans.
I think this is probably the most important question in aging research, because answering it may lead to those mysteries, and subsequently, clues to the problem of aging that we are now missing. What are those odd lifespans/metabolic patters/gene expression profiles/regenerative capabilities that certain animals have, but others don’t? What is that scientists dream of investigating, but can’t because of lack of funding and low chances of getting funds for such unconventional studies?
What mysteries of aging do you know?