Medicine: Nobody Gets Any Younger

What makes a man—or any other organism—grow old and die? Medicine doesn't know. Last week in St. Louis, Dr. Albert I. Lansing thought he might be on the trail of an answer.

Dr. Lansing, a 32-year-old geneticist and old-age expert at Washington University, has been studying the rotifer, a minute animal that lives in water. Rotifers are ideally fitted for experiments on senescence : they are multicellular,* have simple brains, eye spots, and live three weeks or less. The females produce fertile eggs without male help. (The males are rare, weak, often impotent, live only 24 hours.)

Some Lansing findings:

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