I published the first online version of the Anti-Aging Firewalls treatise a year ago and started this blog about six months ago. A lot has happened on the longevity front during the period. There have been 78 blog posts and the treatise has been updated dozens of times. See Anti-Aging Firewalls V1.9 state of progress for a progress report as of two months ago. The present version of the treatise is significantly expanded, corrected and far more comprehensive than the original. Nonetheless a number of important developments have been reported in this blog and are not yet sufficiently covered in the treatise itself. For me, it is important that the treatise at any time offers comprehensive coverage of what science knows about aging and what can be done about it. Therefore I plan to focus my efforts during the next several days to bringing the treatise up to date. You may not hear much from me here during that time.
I do want to share one thought from what I am writing, however. There are the 14 theories of aging listed in the treatise and six additional candidate theories described in this blog that need to be described also in the treatise even though they don’t qualify as full aging theories yet. They are Incorrect protein folding, Accumulation of progerin, Gene mutations leading to hellicase abnormalities, Aberrant mTOR signalling, The hypoxic response and Epigenomic changes in DNA methylation.
Regarding these 20 theories or others that might come up, a single key theory of aging may not exist. There are lots of biomolecular actions and genetic pathways that can lead to accelerated aging, and it appears there are also several that can delay aging at least somewhat. Some may be more fundamental than others. But it may well be that there is no one master theory or mechanism of aging that drives all the others. It may be that we are looking at a large system of interacting feedback loops in which all the mechanisms of aging work together affecting each other in multiple ways. All are primary.
Think of a mechanical wrist watch. It contains numerous gears, wheels, cogs and bearings. Which is the main gear or wheel or bearing, the key component for operation of the watch? Wrong question. They are almost all needed. Taking out or breaking almost any gear or cog or wheel or bearing will stop the watch or make it run screwy. If you want a healthy functioning watch it is important that all the parts be in good shape and well-aligned with each other. Same for us.