By Robin Holliday

ISBN-10: 1402056400

ISBN-13: 9781402056406

ISBN-10: 1402056419

ISBN-13: 9781402056413

For hundreds of years humans were wondered through the inevitability of human getting older. for many of the second one half the 20th century getting older remained a secret, or an unsolved organic challenge. on the finish of the twentieth century a extraordinary medical discovery emerged. It used to be now not a unmarried discovery within the ordinary feel, since it used to be according to a chain of significant interconnected insights over rather a protracted 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 designate getting older are usually not permitted as validated wisdom for a very long time. the sphere continues to be packed with scientists, and non-scientists, who're simply chuffed to head on speculating concerning the 'mystery' of getting older. the purpose of this ebook is to dispel lack of knowledge 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

Example text

Simple free living round worms, or nematodes, are found in vast numbers in ordinary soil, feeding on bacteria, or other microorganisms. Unlike flatworms, they have a body cavity containing the gut, and they also have a mouth, anus, muscles, nerve cells and so on. The remarkable feature of these animals is that their development culminates in an adult with a constant number of somatic cells. Moreover, these cells never divide, and the only cells capable of division in the adult are the germ cells that will form the next generation.

In the previous chapter, the various mechanisms of body maintenance were discussed, and it is very striking that there is also an almost a one-to-one relationship between each maintenance mechanism and each theory. In other words, the theory supposes that a particular maintenance function eventually breaks down (eg. failure of DNA repair leading to DNA damage; loss of immune function leading to auto-immune reactions and so on). Since all maintenance mechanisms are important, it follows that all serious theories of ageing are important too.

In an ideal environment A might do better, because it can survive and reproduce indefinitely, where B can only reproduce for a limited period of time. In Darwinian terms A appears to be fitter than B. Therefore, one might think, ageing could not evolve. The paradox is that B is fitter than A in a real environment. In this real environment, lifespan is short because of the innumerable hazards. B reproduces as quickly as it can, whereas A is using body resources to preserve itself. This investment of resources is simply wasted, if the lifespan of the animal is ended by predators, starvation or some other lethal event.

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