Aging: The Paradox of Life by Robin Holliday

By Robin Holliday

For hundreds of years humans were questioned by means 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 20 th century a impressive medical discovery emerged. It was once now not a unmarried discovery within the traditional feel, since it was once in response to a chain of significant interconnected insights over particularly 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 will possibly already be stated, in spite of the fact that, that the numerous observations and insights that specify getting older are not authorised as verified wisdom for a very long time. the sphere continues to be filled with scientists, and non-scientists, who're simply satisfied to move on speculating concerning the 'mystery' of getting older. the purpose of this e-book is to dispel lack of understanding by means 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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All individuals are subjected to environmental hazards, and obviously there is a strong element of chance in survival. Nevertheless, the genes also influence the animal’s chance of survival, and therefore there will be natural selection of genes. All this has been outlined in recent years with considerable persuasion and clarity by Richard Dawkins in his book The Selfish Gene, and also by many other authors. Darwin wrote books not only about evolution, but also about many other biological topics.

These long-lived animals usually increase in size throughout their lifespan, in other words, they have pools of dividing cells that keep growing and slowly increasing body weight. Nevertheless, the long survival time of a giant tortoise or large fish such as a whale shark, is still only a minute fraction of evolutionary time. It may well be that size itself is one determining factor of lifespan. The weight of an animal roughly increases as the cube of its length. So a large animal such as an elephant must have immensely strong limbs to walk or run.

Another type of insoluble aggregate are collectively known as AGEs (advanced glycation end-products). They are also widely distributed in ageing cells and tissues. Diabetics who have abnormal glucose levels, are particularly affected by the build up of AGEs. In Chapter 2 I referred to the problem of the turnover of photoreceptors in the light sensitive calls of the retina of the eye. Partial or complete loss of normal vision is a common component of ageing. Irreversible changes in the crystallin proteins of the lens leads to the formation of cataracts.

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