Thursday, 9 July 2009


I read an article today about rapamycin which is a drug that may lead to the creation of some kind of anti-ageing pill.

I'll not go into the ethics of all this ... in a world of increasing population, esp an ageing one in the developed world in which already we have a major elderly care crisis and future pensions crisis etc.

But the one thing that did tickle me is that the drug, rapamycin, is named after Easter Island where it was first isolated in soil samples taken there. Whilst historians and ecologists argue the exact facts there is a body of opinion that the population of Easter Island somewhere about 1700 basically was pretty much wiped out. Some of the theories about this are that the massive deforestation of the island could have been a major cause and one reason for this possibly was the zealot like worship of a religion on the island that led to the raising of the famous statues.

It just tickled me that we are naming the "elixir of life" (as I saw on one newspaper) after an island which has a history that shows the abuses man will take out on his environment and the devastating consequences that can have on a human population.

1 comment:

  1. I didn't see the headlines but I heard a radio feature about it this afternoon.

    You make a very good point!