[extropy-chat] Anti-Aging Molecule Discovered

Robert Bradbury robert.bradbury at gmail.com
Tue Jun 13 22:37:36 UTC 2006

Its fine to forward my comments.  My impression of OMIM condensations of the
literature (the references I cited) is that the are usually quite good.
(Perhaps in part because I think the people writing the OMIM pages are under
less pressure for press or grant approvals than the front line scientists --
but this is just a guess.)

I agree with the other comments.  Its easy to check authors by doing a
PubMed search on the names involved in the article (I usually do something
like the lead author and the last author) and some important keywords (e.g.
senescence).  PubMed helps now in that it provides links to the author
searches.  If you find lots of references by authors, but they don't happen
to be related to the topic of the paper (e.g. cellular senescence or aging)
then they may be stretching beyond their areas of expertise.  Given dozens
to hundreds of theories of aging it is very easy for scientists to fall into
the swamp.

Generally I think what happens is that you get gradual spin on the
information as it goes from scientist to institution press office to expert
news sources to public news sources.  At each level there is a tendency for
reinterpretation to occur which can change the meaning from what the
original intent actually was.  You get into subtle distinctions as to
whether a public news source was quoting a scientist or quoting an
institution press office quoting a scientist, etc.

The general public doesn't even know about cellular senescence or apoptosis
or free radicals or DNA mutations or ... so *how* does one explain the
subtle details to them in 3-5 column inches without folding and mutilating
the "facts"?

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