• The Evolution of Aging


    Author(s): Theodore, C. Goldsmith
    Date:   2006-10-01
    Pages: 200 p
    Size:  1.5 Mb
    Format:  PDF
    Language: English


         

     

    Description

    Why do we age? Scientists have been baffled by this question for centuries and disagree regarding even the general nature of aging. Is aging the result of fundamental limitations that apply to all living things, or are organisms designed by nature to age because a limited life span conveys some advantage? All of the theories either fail to fully explain observed animal characteristics or conflict with generally accepted evolution theory. This issue has potentially enormous implications for medicine. If aging is the result of fundamental and unalterable forces of nature, then anti-aging medicine is impossible and anti-aging research is futile and foolish. If aging is imposed by an evolved life span regulation system, then research will likely reveal means for altering the operation of the aging mechanism and thereby improve the treatment of many age-related diseases and conditions. This book provides a historical review of biological aging theories including underlying evolution and genetics issues and describes exciting recent discoveries and new theories that are causing renewed interest in aging-by-design. The author discusses Darwin's theory of evolution as well as more recent proposed modifications such as the selfish gene theory, evolvability theory, and group selection in connection with their effects on aging theory. A chapter is devoted to describing the aspects of modern genetics that have implications for evolution theory including the application of digital information theory to genetics.

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