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Barometer: Oldies of the week

A GOOD week for old men in a hurry. John Glenn, aged 77, took his second journey into space 36 years after his first. Lord Jenkins, also 77, isn't exactly the weightless type, but he has been undertaking his own explorations of the electoral solar system and ended up with a complicated new way of voting which, critics would say, has got stuck orbiting around Uranus.

Anyhow, there's more good news for gerontocrats. Scientists at the California Institute of Technology have identified the "Methuselah" ageing gene. They have created mutant fruit flies that live 50 per cent longer than their normal cousins. So perhaps Roy could still be around in 38 years' time. By then, they might even have got around to implementing his report.