[NAFEX] Cancer and blueberries (shorter title)

Road's End Farm organic87 at frontiernet.net
Tue May 19 10:07:09 EDT 2009

On May 19, 2009, at 6:03 AM, Heath Flax wrote:

> The BLOCKBUSTER blueberry news, --calling it news because I think few,
> even in NAFEX,  know of it, is as follows:
> According to a study of a (I think) a couple decades or so, or more,
> ago, which did tissue-level analyzing and testing of wild highbush
> blueberry stems:  it may be that, (theoretically) Blueberry bushes "do
> not age"!
> The tissue samples they took were from wild bushes which they had just
> determined, were some 700 plus years old.
> They reported that as to ageing symptoms, these tissues were
> undistinguishable  from tissues from very young plants.

I would be interested in seeing the study itself, for several reasons:

	1) I'd like to know what tissues they actually studied, and in what 
fashion. Were these new shoots? part of the old root system? did they 
look at the cellular level, and at what in the cellular level? In other 
words, what exactly were they studying? And by what techniques?
	2) Was this presented as a difference between blueberries and other 
plants, or as an example in blueberries of something general in plants? 
and what other plants had been studied (by the authors, or in other 
studies properly referred to in this one) in order to determine which 
of these it was?
	3) Was this part of a body of work that also discussed these findings, 
whatever they were, in relation to aging in non-plant species? If so, 
what did they say about the comparison?
	4) What followup, if any, has been done on this work in the succeeding 
twenty or so years? (This, of course, would not be in the original 
study; but if the title of the study, the name(s) of the author(s), and 
the place where it was published were known, it might be possible to 
find out.)
	5) My own recollection of things I read twenty years ago is far from 
perfect. I suspect that this is true of almost everybody.

Also: extreme age in plants is quite well documented. Grape rootstocks 
can also live for hundreds of years, sending out new canes every year. 
(I don't know whether new canes from old plants show differences, under 
analysis, from new canes from new plants. As new plants can be grown 
from such canes, which to the best of my knowledge behave like new 
plants, I wouldn't be much surprised to find no differences.) Redwoods 
and bristlecone pines can live for thousands of years. This doesn't 
mean that eating extract of bristlecone pine could cause humans (or 
other mammals) to live for thousands of years. There's quite a 
difference between plants and people.

Finger Lakes NY; zone 5 mostly
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