By Robin Holliday
For hundreds of years humans were questioned by way of the inevitability of human getting older. for many of the second one 1/2 the 20th century getting older remained a secret, or an unsolved organic challenge. on the finish of the twentieth century a awesome medical discovery emerged. It was once no longer a unmarried discovery within the ordinary experience, since it was once in keeping 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 might already be stated, even if, that the numerous observations and insights that specify getting older aren't permitted as verified wisdom for a very long time. the sector remains to be packed with scientists, and non-scientists, who're simply chuffed to move on speculating concerning the 'mystery' of getting older. the purpose of this booklet is to dispel lack of expertise by means of explaining in non-technical language what are the explanations for getting older and the parable of over the top prolongation of lifestyles.
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Extra resources for Aging: The Paradox of Life
The heart is an efficient pump, but it consists of cells which never divide. As in the case of any mechanical device, with time deterioration sets in. Heart muscle cells may be lost, the valves, through constant use, can become calcified or otherwise defective. The major blood vessels are not easily repaired, especially their inner surface. Cumulative damage gives rise to the condition known as atherosclerosis. Cholesterol-rich lesions known as atheromatous plaques appear and gradually increase in size.
It is now known that epigenetic defects are very important in the development of tumours. Thus, one or more of the 4–6 events just mentioned could be epigenetic. It is also likely that these defects are an important component of ageing itself. The expression of genes in specialised cells is controlled by epigenetic mechanisms, although in most cases the exact way in which these operate is not fully understood. We would expect that epigenetic Multiple Causes 31 defects might result in the loss of gene expression, or perhaps equally important, the turning on of a gene which is not normally expressed in a given cell type.
This global overview is that ageing is due to the eventual failure of maintenance. Maintenance is essential for normal development to the adult and for the several decades of adult life. After that things start to go wrong, as we are no longer able to sustain the 36 Chapter 4 status quo. Eventually the complexity and order that characterises life itself is lost, and death follows. On our death certificate a single cause of death may be given, but the reality is that if we did not die from one cause, we would die from another.
Aging: The Paradox of Life by Robin Holliday