Documenting the Coming Singularity

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Why you're getting old.

Why are you getting old? Is getting old just something we have to accept and put up with?

Check out this Introduction to the Biology Aging and Senescence

Senescence is the biological process of age-related deterioration in function.

The study of human senescence has been fraught with controversy, conflicting theories, and puzzling data. Gerontologists do not even agree on whether "pure" senescence is distinct from diseases of old age. Medical science has cataloged many signs of senescence. It manifests as dozens of changes in cells, tissues, and organs during aging. Human life is supported by a complex network of biochemical substances and reactions which affect the physical state and vitality of the body and mind. Senescent changes can be seen in the rate and outcome of many of these reactions. However, many of these changes are secondary effects of senescence, rather than primary causes. A summary of some of the secondary effects in human aging can be found in the Dossier on Ageing prepared by the Health on the Net Foundation.

Disposable Soma Theory for the Evolution of Senescence

It is noteworthy that the germ line of egg and sperm has been maintained alive and safe from senescence and oxidative decay for over a billion years. Our life is part of an unbroken chain of life, extending back in time to our earliest ancestors.

Most of the biochemical reactions of life were developed long ago in single-celled organisms and bacteria, long before multicellular organisms arose. These single-celled organisms reproduced by dividing into two equal halves. Neither half was parent or child. Some of their descendants are still thriving today, living and dividing, and apparently not senile. Consequently, it is attractive to think of these protista and monera as never aging. However, there is evidence that the processes of growing and dividing are important factors in maintaining the youthful state of these cells.

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