ME and Ophelia

Friday, December 09, 2005

And customary sun-downer of brandy and dry ginger ale

The oldest person in the UK has died at the age of 113.

Lucy d'Abreu, who was born in India in 1892, passed away peacefully at a nursing home in Stirling on Wednesday.

Mrs d'Abreu lived through the reigns of six monarchs, the turn of two centuries and almost every major discovery of the modern world.

Friends said that until the last she enjoyed food, books and conversation.

She attributed her long life to the grace of God and a "customary sun-downer of brandy and dry ginger ale".

Update 10 Dec 2005: UK's 'oldest' man dies, aged 111: The family said his long life was down to his positive outlook and, until recently, a daily half glass of Guinness.

[Recently, I completed an online health quiz that predicted I might live to 91. It won't be long before it becomes the norm to live to 120 and look like a sixty year old of today. I've blogged about this issue in the past. The ramifications are complicated and will change society as we know it today. Here below is a copy of a previous post]
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Hormone could be the elixir of youth

Feb 17, 2005 report in the Scotsman reveals that scientists have moved a step closer to identifying the elusive "elixir of life" after extending the lifespan of laboratory mice. Dr Richard Faragher, an expert in anti-ageing biology at Brighton University, explained:

"There is a tremendous amount of interest at the moment in regenerative medicine, basically because it has applications in a very wide range of medical conditions. In this study the majority of the repair processes that they are picking up in the old mouse are from the activation of old progenitor cells by the hormone from the younger mouse. This means the old animal, for reasons that are not clear, is lacking hormones that make the cells grow.

It has the progenitor cells that could grow if you gave them the right signal, but the hormones that tell it to do this are not present. What they have achieved by hooking up the blood supply is to introduce these hormones and as a result they have found that the progenitor cells can still wake up."

While replicating such results in humans is still the work of science fiction, the finding could have far-reaching implications, both for medical science and for the youth-obsessed cosmetic industry. It may even leap-frog the necessity for stem cell research into understanding ageing.

# posted by Ingrid J. Jones @ 12/09/2005
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