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Aging: designed to die?

Lookup NU author(s): Emeritus Professor Thomas Kirkwood


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© Biochemical Society. Aging is a normal biological process that occurs in every human being who manages to escape the fate of a premature death. On the whole, there is a consistency about aging's hallmarks such that we can judge a person's age pretty accurately at just a glance. What is more natural, then, than to suppose that aging has been fashioned by natural selection as an adaptation in its own right, perhaps to clear the older generations out of the way and make room for the new ones? Longevity runs in families, which means that genes are involved1. Doesn't this imply that aging itself follows a genetic programme, perhaps merely a continuation of the same programming that gave shape to our bodies' growth and development?.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Kirkwood TBL

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Biochemist

Year: 2015

Volume: 37

Issue: 4

Pages: 8-11

Print publication date: 01/08/2015

Acceptance date: 01/01/1900

ISSN (print): 0954-982X

ISSN (electronic): 1740-1194

Publisher: Biochemical Society