By William R. Clark

Why can we age? Is getting older inevitable? Will advances in scientific wisdom let us expand the human lifespan past its current limits? simply because getting old has lengthy been the single irreducible truth of human lifestyles, those interesting questions come up extra frequently within the context of technological know-how fiction than technological know-how truth. yet contemporary discoveries within the fields of mobile biology and molecular genetics are heavily difficult the belief that human lifespans are past our regulate. With such discoveries in brain, famous mobile biologist William R. Clark basically and assuredly describes how senescence starts on the point of person cells and the way mobile replication should be sure up with getting older of the total organism. He explores the evolutionary foundation and serve as of getting older, the mobile connections among getting older and melanoma, the parallels among mobile senescence and Alzheimer's illness, and the insights received via learning human genetic disorders--such as Werner's syndrome--that mimic the indications of getting older. Clark additionally explains how aid in caloric consumption may very well aid raise lifespan, and the way the harmful results of oxidative components within the physique could be restricted via the intake of antioxidants present in vegatables and fruits. In a last bankruptcy, Clark considers the social and financial facets of dwelling longer, the results of gene treatment on senescence, and what we'd know about getting older from experiments in cloning. this can be a hugely readable, provocative account of a few of the main far-reaching and arguable questions we're prone to ask within the subsequent century.

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Extra resources for A Means to an End - The Biological Basis of Aging and Death

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Fresh nutrients were provided at each subdivision. Carrel's experiments provided a major stimulus to the growth and study of cells in vitro. Over the next fifty years conditions for growing many different types of cells were gradually improved; in vitro cell culture would prove key to resolving many important questions about cell biology, especially in higher animals. B u t perhaps the most fundamental impact of Carrel's finding was on our views of senescence, an incorrect view that unfortunately lasted over forty years.

This question has long puzzled some of the best thinkers in evolutionary biology and genetics. Senescence as we understand it in eukaryotes does not exist, or at least has never been reliably detected, in prokaryotic organisms.

T h e rate of death among women in the United States giving birth today is less than 10 percent of what it was at the end of the nineteenth century. These factors still compromise the survival of women in some parts of the world. T h e reason for the longer average lifespan of women in a more protected environment is unclear; it may be as simple as the fact that women, at least in the past, have smoked less, consumed less alcohol, and are in general more averse to physical risk. It is now well established that during the child-bearing years women are protected by hormones from cardiovascular disease, and they appear to have stronger immune systems; these protections are lost at menopause.

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