Download Intrinsic mutagenesis: A genetic approach to ageing by Sir Macfarlane Burnet (auth.) PDF

By Sir Macfarlane Burnet (auth.)

This booklet is anything which just about by chance has built very another way from the way it was once first and foremost deliberate. The purpose was once to complex the half performed via the immune process in getting old with the function of the thymus as primary subject. It used to be to be basically a variety of a lecture I gave in 1970 and could unavoidably were excited about a lot an identical fabric as Walford's booklet, The Immunologic conception of getting older, notwithstanding from a unique slant. What replaced its personality arose from a sequence of makes an attempt to discover logical connection among findings that the majority gerontologists regard as axiomatic: that the lifespan of a mammal is genetically decided, and that the particular means of getting old is an accumulation of genetic errors, of somatic mutations. it's attainable that the relationship is so oblique, circuitous and multiform that generations of designated and unattractive examine may be had to elucidate it, or, much more likely, the complete topic discarded as a non-problem. yet a extra inspiring method does look attainable. The operating speculation, which midway via its writing grew to become the hot principal subject matter of the e-book, arose whilst i used to be a member of a committee appointed via the Australian Academy of technological know-how on the request of the Australian executive to suggest at the threat from French nuclear assessments within the South Pacific.

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Additional resources for Intrinsic mutagenesis: A genetic approach to ageing

Sample text

Not altogether unreasonably, workers in the experimental biomedical sciences have resisted accepting hypotheses ascribing bodily phenomena, physiological or pathological, to somatic mutation. The objection was essentially that any hypothesis ascribing a phenomenon to a change taking place in a single cell is necessarily insusceptible to experimental test. By the time a demonstrable result, the production of a tumour or of a circulating antibody for instance, becomes available for investigation, there can be no direct evidence about the initiating process.

It is a useful simile, but it misses Mutation in evolution 33 one very important point. There is no absolute specificity of the fit between two informational molecules. There can be minor differences on either side which will result in the mutual fit being 'good' or 'not so good' rather than a clear 'union' or 'no union'. To some extent the goodness of fit can be measured by the physical 'affinity' of the union, but additional qualitative factors may also be important. Whenever the effector or receptor substance is a protein, this softedged relationship holds.

The important finding is that if we Table 2 Genetic damage in a population of one million ~ffectofbackground, Disease or disability per million Current incidence First generation Equilibrium Dominant diseases Chromosomal and recessive diseases Disease and disability with partial genetic bases Total 10000 10000 50 Slight 250 Slow increase 40000 60000 5 60(-1000) 50 300(-7500) 5 R per generation Data from the BEIR report(19), using the lowest value for the effect of background radiation (see text), except in giving the total effect where the calculated maximal effect is also shown (in brackets).

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