Ageing : the paradox of life by Robin Holliday

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 20 th century getting older remained a secret, or an unsolved organic challenge. on the finish of the twentieth century a amazing medical discovery emerged. It was once no longer a unmarried discovery within the traditional experience, since it was once in line with a chain of vital 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 could possibly already be stated, even though, that the numerous observations and insights that designate getting older aren't permitted as confirmed wisdom for a very long time. the sphere continues to be filled with scientists, and non-scientists, who're simply satisfied to head on speculating in regards to the 'mystery' of getting older. the purpose of this e-book 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 lifestyles.

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However, there is no example of a complex animal in which the body is maintained indefinitely. Sooner or later ageing and death supercede reproduction. It has sometimes been argued that some large fish or reptiles do not age in the usual sense. 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.

Some offspring do not survive long after birth; others never reach adulthood; some that do so may not breed, and those that do breed are unlikely to have nearly as many offspring as they are potentially capable of producing. In contrast, animals living in a protected environment, which provides food ad libitum and the absence of predators, have very different reproductive success, provided of course, that they have the freedom to breed.

This is shown in Figure 4. The youngest cells divide about thirty times, and the oldest about nine times. These observations indicate that the number of cell divisions possible at the outset, get partially used up during a lifetime. It is quite possible that dividing cells have the potential for renewal and replacement, but with some divisions in reserve. It would nevertheless be surprising if the Hayflick limit in Figure 4. The growth in culture of skin cells from Syrian hamsters of increasing age.

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