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Aging and Lifespan

Update on the Buckyball Longevity Paper

You’ll remember the life-extending fullerenes paper that I blogged about here, and the various problems with it that sharp-eyed readers here spotted. (These drew comments from the lead author here and here). Now the journal has issued a correction that covers some of these issues, along with the following Editor’s Note:

It should be noted that one of these errors, referring to the inadvertent duplication of the same image within two panels of Fig 4, was pointed out to the Editor-in-Chief by several readers. The authors contacted the Editor-in-Chief with an explanation of this error and an error in Figure 3 before he requested an explanation from the authors. This paper draws conclusions that appear counter-intuitive. The Editor-in-Chief received two very detailed reports from referees who indicated that the methodology appeared sound and they both recommended acceptance after some revision. Neither referee nor the Editor-in-Chief noticed either error, and the revised paper was published. Due consideration has been given to the potential effect of these errors on the overall results and conclusions drawn, and so it has been decided the conclusions are still valid. The authors have provided explanations of how the errors were made during the preparation of graphics and images.

The big questions remain – can these results be duplicated, and is anyone willing to try?

One comment on “Update on the Buckyball Longevity Paper”

  1. zamafadab says:

    This study was all over the place and didn’t fully answer any of the questions it posed. Ceasing C60 treatment when an outlier died very early in the study doesn’t make sense.
    More important, though, is the very valid potential here. Lacking acute toxicity and any pronounced chronic toxicity, the antioxidant potential of C60 can now be actually explored with that intent, with all the right controls and manipulations, including very wide dose variation.
    On its mechanism of action, it is important to note that C60’s ease of reduction makes it good target for endogenous reductive antioxidants. Perhaps in the CCl4 segment of study, C60 acts as a reducing “proxy” which would happily carry an extra electron or three to give to unreacted chlorine radicals. C60 is a huge and electrically attractive target for electrophilic radicals, and resonance allows the whole molecule to be reactive. Many collisions would be needed with other site-specific antioxidants, which gives radicals much more time to attack non-antioxidants. This reactivity could offset the tiny serum concentration achieved in this study.

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