Read e-book online Aging: The Paradox of Life PDF

By Robin Holliday

ISBN-10: 1402056400

ISBN-13: 9781402056406

ISBN-10: 1402056419

ISBN-13: 9781402056413

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 impressive medical discovery emerged. It was once no longer a unmarried discovery within the ordinary experience, since it was once in keeping with a sequence 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 could actually already be stated, even though, that the various observations and insights that designate getting older should not accredited as validated wisdom for a very long time. the sphere remains 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 expertise 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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Example text

The answer, at one level, is quite simple. Cancer cells are obviously abnormal, but to understand their origin we have to first understand normality. That is, we have to understand how an organism develops from a fertilised egg into all the multiple components of the body, and also how all these multiple components are regulated and interact with each other. This is the normal situation, and it is highly complex. It is not fully understood, so how can one understand why something goes wrong when the normal situation is itself mysterious?

It is thought that mitochondrial DNA damage is largely 30 Chapter 4 due to the formation of reactive oxygen radicals from respiration. Although these radicals are short lived, they can also damage other cellular components, such as cell membranes, proteins and the DNA in chromosomes. Cancer is a major age-associated disease, apart from childhood leukaemias and some other fairly uncommon types of tumour. Epidemiologists have known for a long time that the rising incidence of the one of the commonest types of tumours (carcinomas) with age can be explained on the basis of several sequential events (in the range 4–6).

Cumulative damage gives rise to the condition known as atherosclerosis. Cholesterol-rich lesions known as atheromatous plaques appear and gradually increase in size. These can eventually block blood flow, which in turn can lead to a failure of the normal oxygen supply to the heart, with a consequent heart attack, or lethal heart failure. The formation of blood clots or the detachment of plaques from the arterial wall can impede the blood supply to the brain. and cause a stroke. The arterial walls are elastic in young individuals, but with time the cross-linking of collagen and elastin reduces elasticity and thickening of the walls may also occur (hardening of the arteries).

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Aging: The Paradox of Life by Robin Holliday

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