Robin Holliday's Aging: The Paradox of Life PDF

By Robin Holliday

ISBN-10: 1402056400

ISBN-13: 9781402056406

ISBN-10: 1402056419

ISBN-13: 9781402056413

For hundreds of years humans were wondered by means of the inevitability of human getting older. for many of the second one half the 20 th century getting older remained a secret, or an unsolved organic challenge. on the finish of the twentieth century a striking clinical discovery emerged. It used to be no longer a unmarried discovery within the ordinary feel, since it was once in line with a sequence of significant interconnected insights over fairly an extended time period. those insights made it attainable for the first actual time to appreciate the organic purposes for getting older in animals and guy. it may possibly already be stated, even if, that the various observations and insights that specify getting older should not authorised as demonstrated wisdom for a very long time. the sector continues to be filled with scientists, and non-scientists, who're simply chuffed to head on speculating in regards to the 'mystery' of getting older. the purpose of this booklet is to dispel lack of expertise by way of explaining in non-technical language what are the explanations for getting older and the parable of over the top prolongation of existence.

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Extra info for Aging: The Paradox of Life

Sample text

The Ancient Origins of Ageing Not all organism age. It is well established that populations of bacteria or yeast can go on growing forever, as long as nutrients are provided. Many plants reproduce vegetatively (or asexually), by forming tubers, bulbs or corms, or they can be propogated by cuttings. Thus, the continuous growth of complex living organisms such as plants is perfectly possible. Why then do so few animals have this ability? The interrelationship between sexual reproduction and the existence of ageing have been known since the last century.

Since there are many mitochondria in every cell, this may initially not have any serious effect. However, it is easy to see that as more and more molecules are affected, mitochondrial function as a whole becomes impaired. This can be regarded as a ‘multiple hit’ process, which can become an important component of ageing. It is thought that mitochondrial DNA damage is largely 30 Chapter 4 due to the formation of reactive oxygen radicals from respiration. Although these radicals are short lived, they can also damage other cellular components, such as cell membranes, proteins and the DNA in chromosomes.

One of the most successful of these comprises the vast array of insect species. Many of these species, like the roundworm, have adult bodies with very few, if any, cells capable of division, apart from their germ cells. In general, they have limited powers of regeneration, and their bodies have finite survival times. This survival time in insects is extremely variable: from the few hours of the adult Mayfly, to lifespans of many months, or years in species which have a long period of dormancy in their life cycle.

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Aging: The Paradox of Life by Robin Holliday

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