By Jan Vijg
Getting older has lengthy in view that been ascribed to the slow accumulation of DNA mutations within the genome of somatic cells. notwithstanding, it is just lately that the required refined know-how has been constructed to start trying out this concept and its outcomes. Vijg severely experiences the idea that of genomic instability as a potential common explanation for getting older within the context of a brand new, holistic knowing of genome functioning in advanced organisms due to fresh advances in practical genomics and platforms biology. It presents an up to date synthesis of present study, in addition to a glance forward to the layout of recommendations to retard or opposite the deleterious results of getting older. this can be relatively vital in a time after we are urgently attempting to get to the bottom of the genetic portion of aging-related illnesses. in addition, there's a growing to be public acceptance of the important of figuring out extra in regards to the underlying biology of getting older, pushed by way of carrying on with demographic switch.
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Additional info for Aging of the Genome: The Dual Role of DNA in Life and Death
Another example of antagonistic pleiotropy could be the production of ATP by oxidative phosphorylation, the main pathway of energy production. This effective method of harnessing energy arose early in evolution and has been conserved with relatively minor variation. However, cells produce reactive oxygen species (ROS) as by-products of oxidative phosphorylation and I already mentioned in Chapter 1 that it was Denham Harman who originally hypothesized that such free radicals are one of the major factors responsible for the aging of cells23.
In this respect, there is now ample evidence that damage to the genome can explain many of the most important phenotypes of aging. This book is focused on the possibility that the genome is both the creative engine behind longevity, as this emerged during evolution in ever more robust manifestations, and the main target of the somatic damage that ultimately limits life. Since the original emergence of a genome 3–4 billion years ago, there has been a divergence into the current estimate of 30 million genomes, each representing a unique species.
The question has arisen as to how aging, which in evolutionary terms can be simply deﬁned as the decline in ﬁtness after the period of ﬁrst reproduction, could ever emerge as a distinct, albeit complicated, phenotype. Indeed, direct natural selection should favor the suppression of senescence rather than its promotion. That is, the accidental inactivation of a gene causing a program of aging would provide an immediate selective advantage to its carrier, resulting in a rapid spread of immortality.
Aging of the Genome: The Dual Role of DNA in Life and Death by Jan Vijg