National Post Article on Positive Biology
The Saturday edition of the National Post included a lengthy article by the health editor Tom Blackwell on positive biology and longevity. It is now available online here. A sample from the article:
Mrs. Levy’s long and generally healthy life is the focus of a fascinating scientific study, itself at the forefront of a little-noticed but radical approach to medical research. Turning upside down the traditional quest to understand and cure specific diseases, some researchers are examining instead healthy and long-lived humans and animals for their biological secrets.
By reverse engineering the source of that vigour, scientists hope to develop drugs or supplements that could give less genetically fortunate people more protection against the ravages of aging and chronic illness.
Those researchers struggle now for recognition in a medical establishment hived off into separate wars against individual diseases. A Canadian academic, however, is calling for a tectonic shift toward what he calls “positive biology.” Solving the molecular mysteries of the healthy to stave off disease and aging would make the system “much more efficient,” argues Professor Colin Farrelly of Queen’s University in a recent paper in the journal of the European Molecular Biology Organization.
“We think it will be more important for public health than the introduction of antibiotics,” echoed Jay Olshansky, a public-health professor at the University of Illinois who has promoted a similar concept for several years. “This will be the medical breakthrough of the 21st century when it happens.… It’s going to be huge.”