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 20 th century a striking clinical discovery emerged. It used to be now not a unmarried discovery within the ordinary experience, since it used to be in response to a sequence of vital interconnected insights over rather 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 may well already be acknowledged, even though, that the various observations and insights that designate getting older are usually not approved as demonstrated wisdom for a very long time. the sector remains to be choked with scientists, and non-scientists, who're simply satisfied to head on speculating concerning the 'mystery' of getting older. the purpose of this publication is to dispel lack of knowledge 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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Additional resources for Ageing : the paradox of life
In the previous chapter, the various mechanisms of body maintenance were discussed, and it is very striking that there is also an almost a one-to-one relationship between each maintenance mechanism and each theory. In other words, the theory supposes that a particular maintenance function eventually breaks down (eg. failure of DNA repair leading to DNA damage; loss of immune function leading to auto-immune reactions and so on). Since all maintenance mechanisms are important, it follows that all serious theories of ageing are important too.
This ability to discern abnormal and normal is only partly understood, but there is no doubt that it is an efficient process in all cells. The turnover of proteins occurs continuously during normal metabolism; many amino acids are re-utilised in the synthesis of new protein molecules, but some are degraded and end up as urea. The continual excretion of urine is the major consequence of protein turnover, and this turnover is an essential maintenance mechanism to keep our cells in a normal functional state.
However, there is a given low probability that an L amino acid will change spontaneously into a D amino acid. This is known to occur in long lived proteins in teeth, and also in the lens, but at a very slow rate. Collagen is also a long-lived protein in the body. In this case the commonest abnormality is the cross-linking of different molecules which thereby changes their physical properties. Only a few types of proteins are very long-lived, because most of them (especially enzymes that are active in metabolism) have a relatively short existence.
Ageing : the paradox of life by Robin Holliday