Were viruses created good? Are they still good?

Posted in General Science, Genetics, Healthy Food & Agriculture on April 11th, 2014 by dhawkinsmo

Most people think viruses are bad. But the Book of Genesis says “And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.” (Genesis 1:31) Now a book has been written – “Viruses: Essential Agents of Life” (2012) - explaining how viruses are actually essential for life, so how could they be “bad”?  Here’s a book review.  I’ll give you some excerpts:

Today you can peruse any virology textbook and get the impression that less than two dozen viruses represent the entirety of Earth’s virosphere.

Viruses: Essential Agents of Life (2012, Springer), edited by Günter Witzany, is a great way to kick off the next 100 years of virology, with nary a reductionist thought to be found within its 427 pages.

Viruses are everywhere and in abundance, and the time has come to sit up and take notice.

Marilyn Roossinck suggests that the focus on viruses as agents of disease has led to a bias in our understanding of viruses in nature, that we ignore “the probability that viruses may play important roles in the ecology of their hosts [italics are mine].”

Extreme Longevity With Buckyballs

Posted in Genetics, Healthy Food & Agriculture on April 29th, 2012 by dhawkinsmo

Rat lifespans almost doubled with “buckyballs.” Wow! I’ve always wondered how Methuselah lived for 969 years. I’ve always believed that he really did, but of course I’ve only been able to speculate about how he did it. Well … according to this new cool study, the lifespans of rats was nearly doubled by feeding them something called “buckyballs” …

Chronic Buckyball Administration Doubles Rat Lifespan
Posted by Lyle J. Dennis, M.D. on April 16, 2012 in Drugs · 42 Comments

C(60) fullerene is a naturally occurring molecule containing 60 carbon atoms arranged in a sphere. It is famously known as the buckyball, short for buckminsterfullerene, and discovered in 1985. Since 1993, the molecule has been suspected to have multiple potential biological benefits. This list includes UV and radioprotection, antiviral, antioxidant, and anti-amyloid activities, allergic response and angiogenesis inhibitions, immune stimulating and antitumour effects, enhancing effect on neurite outgrowth, gene delivery, and even hair-growing activity.
In the current study researchers fed the molecule dissolved in olive oil to rats and compared outcomes to a control group of rats who got plain olive oil. The main question they wanted to answer was whether chronic C60 administration had any toxicity, what they discovered actually surprised them.
“Here we show that oral administration of C60 dissolved in olive oil (0.8 mg/ml) at reiterated doses (1.7 mg/kg of body weight) to rats not only does not entail chronic toxicity,” they write “but it almost doubles their lifespan.” “The estimated median lifespan (EML) for the C60-treated rats was 42 months while the EMLs for control rats and olive oil-treated rats were 22 and 26 months, respectively,” they write.
Using a toxicity model the researchers demonstrated that the effect on lifespan seems to be mediated by “attenuation of age-associated increases in oxidative stress” FULL ARTICLE

Can’t wait to read about them trying this on humans. Could we live to be 150? 180? I think that would be cool. Still would be a long ways from 969 but it’s a start. Personally, I think they will keep on discovering things and may in time discover the “Methuselah Secret.”