By William R. Clark

ISBN-10: 0195125932

ISBN-13: 9780195125931

Why will we age? Is getting older inevitable? Will advances in clinical wisdom let us expand the human lifespan past its current limits? simply because getting older has lengthy been the single irreducible truth of human lifestyles, those fascinating questions come up extra usually within the context of technology fiction than technological know-how truth. yet contemporary discoveries within the fields of mobile biology and molecular genetics are heavily demanding the belief that human lifespans are past our keep watch over. With such discoveries in brain, famous mobilephone biologist William R. Clark essentially and assuredly describes how senescence starts on the point of person cells and the way mobile replication can be sure up with getting older of the full organism. He explores the evolutionary starting place and serve as of getting older, the mobile connections among getting older and melanoma, the parallels among mobile senescence and Alzheimer's affliction, and the insights received via learning human genetic disorders--such as Werner's syndrome--that mimic the indications of getting older. Clark additionally explains how relief in caloric consumption may very well aid elevate lifespan, and the way the damaging results of oxidative components within the physique could be constrained via the intake of antioxidants present in vegatables and fruits. In a last bankruptcy, Clark considers the social and financial facets of dwelling longer, the results of gene treatment on senescence, and what we'd know about getting older from experiments in cloning. this can be a hugely readable, provocative account of a few of the main far-reaching and debatable questions we're prone to ask within the subsequent century.

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Why will we age? Is getting older inevitable? Will advances in scientific wisdom let us expand the human lifespan past its current limits? simply because growing older has lengthy been the single irreducible fact of human life, those interesting questions come up extra usually within the context of technological know-how fiction than technological know-how truth.

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Detailed analysis of human survival in many countries around the world has shown that the likelihood of death across a given time interval decreases somewhat with very advanced age—those who survive longer survive the longest! T h e same thing is seen in animal populations. O n e of the most impressive studies was that reported by James Carey and his associates on Mediterranean fruit flies in 1992. Carey studied the mortality pattern in over one million flies, lending his work a statistical accuracy rarely achieved in biological studies.

More recent tales of extremely long-lived individuals, for example in the Caucasus region of Georgia and neighboring countries, continue to surface to this day, but do not stand up to close scrutiny. ) Demographers examine all such claims meticulously, and find that very old people are often confused about their age. Unimpeachable documentation is required before recognizing the longevity claims of anyone over 100 years old. For mammalian species other than humans, as mentioned earlier, maximum lifespan is normally observed only in animals kept in zoos or maintained in laboratories, where accidental death can be controlled.

T h i s is one of the strongest arguments that replicative senescence is in some way tied into the normal aging process. 36 THE NATURE OF CELLULAR S E N E S C E N C E AND DEATH W h a t happens to fibroblasts at the end of their "fife" in vitro is really not known. Despite a few claims to the contrary, there is ample evidence they do not die, at least not as an immediate consequence of the loss of the ability to divide. They simply lie idly in their culture dishes, continuing to make R N A and proteins, responding to many signals from the outside with an appropriate response—except for signals to begin replicating.

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