Here's a quick recap: caloric restriction leads to longevity in virtually every animal species in which it's been tried. Why? There is continuing debate, but a lot of attention has been given to an enzyme, SIR2, that is increased with caloric restriction.
This is important. Just because something follows, it does not mean that it's the cause. We knew that SIR2 levels increased prior to measurable increases in longevity, but that did not mean that SIR2 was the reason. Now that we have a greater understanding of what SIR2 does, we may soon be able to evaluate SIR2's involvement in regulating lifespan.
As I note at the Longevity Meme, this research is an excellent example of the speed of modern science. It only took a year to understand the mechanism by which this enzyme operates, write the paper, and get it published. Pretty impressive.
The other item of interest from the Speculist is a note that Mark Modzelewski is stepping down as director of the Nanobusiness Alliance - which I am sure pleases many people. Modzelewski was point man for many of the attacks on molecular manufacturing research and Eric Drexler from mainstream nanotechnology business organizations. I wrote about this when it started to spill over into attacks on nanomedicine research, a sound technology that will be vital for future healthy life extension therapies.
I can't say that I'm sad to see Modzelewski go - and neither are the guys at the Center for Responsible Nanotechnology. Hopefully this means that we'll see more sensible attitudes towards nanotechnology and nanomedicine research in the future.