As a youngster growing up in the little town of Westford, Mass., with a mother who had Parkinson’s Disease but who could function pretty well because she was young, I was afraid of death and told my mother I would invent a magic pill that would keep me alive forever. So I decided to major in chemistry at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute. But after a couple months of frustrations in my Quantitative Analysis class — I just didn’t have the patience to carry out the measurements plus the instructor was horrible — I said “To heck with this!” and switched to physics. After all, physics had been getting a lot of media play, what with the atom bomb and all, and might satisfy another craving I had which was to understand the universe. ha ha Well, I actually ended up as a physicist back in the 1950’s but as the years went on I gradually switched over to more mundane engineering work such as computer simulations of solid state transistors. My childhood dream of a pill to extend life forever had become a long forgotten and silly youthful fantasy.
But wait! Just recently I read where red wine can extend the lifespan of mice dosed with resveratrol, an ingredient of some red wines. In fact the report states that some scientists are already taking resveratrol in capsule form. The report also states that serious scientists have long derided the idea of life-extending elixirs. However, quoting from the report, “the door may now have been opened to drugs that exploit an ancient biological survival mechanism, that of switching the body’s resources from fertility to tissue maintenance. The improved tissue maintenance seems to extend life by cutting down on the degenerative diseases of aging”.
OK, is there still hope for me? And I didn’t even have to work on the magic pill project! ha ha
Tags: afraid of death, atom bomb, chemistry, childhood dream, computer simulations, frustrations, health research, magic pill, measurements, nytimes, parkinson s disease, patience, physicist, Physics, quantitative analysis, solid state, transistors, worcester polytechnic institute