Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Capitalism should be death-proof

According to what passes for logic hereabouts, we are entitled to blame
capitalism for death. It is now well established that cell replication
involves an incremental shortening of telomeres on individual chromosomes.
When the telomere becomes too short the replication fails and the cell dies.
This in turn is what causes animal aging and death. Theoretically this
telomere shortening can be halted or reversed, as has been shown in
successful tests on mice. Clearly then (I use the word advisedly) death can
be abolished. Why therefore hasn't there been more funding to prevent this
outrage against human life? Why are we still being massacred by mortality?
It is capitalism's relentless pursuit of profit and poor regard for human
life etc etc. (In case anyone is taking this argument seriously, the truth
is that science is hard, nothing in it is straightforward, there are no
magic bullets, there are huge regulatory barriers and for very good reason,
and even without capitalism's own obsession with patents, profit and
intellectual property, significant progress might still be slow and
reversals many).

Incidentally, Bob, I took the trouble to find out what you know about
phages, and the link you provided led to, guess what? - a commercial drug
company flogging its own phage treatments! Conclusive evidence? I think not.
I on the other hand did what any less trusting soul would do, and consulted
Wikipedia as a first port of call ('phage therapy'). That invaluable and
generally unbiased resource contradicted virtually every claim you made, and
included many counter-arguments you left out. I shall not weary readers by
enumerating them, but anyone interested can very easily verify what I say.