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Thread: Aging

  1. #1 Aging 
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    I was just wondering what your opinion is regarding...
    Aging!

    I have heard of a couple possible explainations of aging.

    1) shortening of the telomeres
    2) mitochondrial DNA mutations

    I was just curious to know if you guys could think of any others.


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  3. #2  
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    I've heard free radicals & cosmic particles may also contribute.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Megabrain
    I've heard free radicals & cosmic particles may also contribute.
    Not to mention children.
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  5. #4 Re: Aging 
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    Quote Originally Posted by sigmafactor
    I was just wondering what your opinion is regarding...
    Aging!

    I have heard of a couple possible explainations of aging.

    1) shortening of the telomeres
    2) mitochondrial DNA mutations

    I was just curious to know if you guys could think of any others.
    It entirely depends on the species in question.
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    if you have any specific examples that would be great!
    I left it open hoping for a few more responses ... I am mainly interested in mammals.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sigmafactor
    I am mainly interested in mammals.
    Said in the wrong quarters or country that statement might get you some peculiar looks or even curtail your freedom..

    Did you look up free radicals?
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  8. #7  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard spuriousmonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sigmafactor
    I am mainly interested in mammals.
    Then it still depends on the mammalian species in quesion.
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  9. #8  
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    Other mechanism then telomere shorting have been suggested for cell senescence. Because many cell lines stop dividing with still enough length of telomeres for a couple of divisions, however no plausible mechanisms has been suggested.
    This is about counting mechanism.
    Aging in general is correlated with damage, so everything that causes damages causes higher turn over and causes aging…
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    Haha. I assure I did not need to look up free radicals!
    But those typically cause mutations in mtDNA (since that is where the cells like to put oxygen ... for a while anyway) and the mtDNA has no/few repair mechanisms.

    Ok I will be even more specific ... yeast. Saccharomyces cerevisiae (now I don't need anyone pointing that yeast is not a mammal, ok, i am aware)
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    i would go for free radicles attackin the body as a whole?
    although i dont think its proven as such.

    ageing to me, seems to be affected by a number of factor. mosly lifestlye type things.

    :wink: children being one Ophiolite
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  12. #11  
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    It's been suggested that degradation of the immune system may play a part in aging, but general idea these days is that immune degradation is a result, not a cause, of aging.
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    yes, aging occurs because of the reduction of telomeres, and our own cells try to repair the damage done by free radicals to do so (like oxigen).

    with every breath we age... so actually the same thing that keeps us alive kills us eventually. Like the medicines to aids
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    The main cause of aging, at least in men is eating wedding cake.... 8)
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    Does scientists/doctors cure aging-related problems?
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  16. #15 Re: Aging 
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    Quote Originally Posted by sigmafactor
    I was just wondering what your opinion is regarding...
    Aging!
    Its inevitable and a right little Sebastian, but also a privilege, enjoy it if you get there :-D :-D
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  17. #16  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zwolver
    yes, aging occurs because of the reduction of telomeres, and our own cells try to repair the damage done by free radicals to do so (like oxigen).

    with every breath we age... so actually the same thing that keeps us alive kills us eventually. Like the medicines to aids
    I agree, i've just learned it in biology class. I go jogging everyday to increase my vital capacity to keep fit.
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  18. #17  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    Quote Originally Posted by Megabrain
    I've heard free radicals & cosmic particles may also contribute.
    Not to mention children.
    Very good. That is so true!

    Yet i would rather be old than childless!

    Everything in life involves a sacrifice.

    Like breathing for example, it gives us life, yet we also sacrifice that life with every breath we take!

    It is one of the paradoxes in life that within each singularity there exists duality. One of these examples is that at the same time we are both living and dying.

    Smoking is the worst culprits of accelerating aging and not far behind that is alcohol, because these are toxins full of free-radicals.
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    The problem we're finding with theorizing about increasing telomere length or making cells express telomerase is that it increases the risk of cells turning into cancer. In a way, cancer is rather fascinating (as a biological entity that is, Im sure the person who has cancer isn't exactly thrilled by its presence). After achieving immortality, it essentially dupes your body into nourishing it and becomes a kind of parasite, continuing to live as long as it's provided for. Take HeLa cells for example, an immortal cervical cancer line that's existed since 1951 and contaminates other cell cultures that are exposed to it. HeLa cells no longer contain a human number of chromosomes, and in a sense have developed into their own chimeric sub-species.

    That aside, telomeres may be tied to aging, but they are definitely not the only cause. Using gene therapy to make all your bodies cells immoral, allowing them to reproduce endlessly, would probably end very badly. Cell senescence may not even play a primary role in aging: there are many mortal creatures who's cells do not undergo cellular senesence, and there are even examples of creatures that undergo reverse senescence.

    I am curious as to whether the human body might actively destory itself by releasing aging hormones/chemicals much in the same way a pubescent child releases developmental hormones/chemicals. As an organism that is part of a larger dynamic, there are evolutionary advantages to our shorter lifespans: more generations within a shorter sample of time, freeing up natural resources to younger members of the species, limiting environmental impact by preventing oversaturation of the species in an area, and so on.

    Regardless, as it stands, proactive replacement of aging vitals may be the only currently applicable method of life extension. With cellular printers that can fabricate organs, stem cell research, maybe even cloning, creating healthy organs, skin, muscle tissue, etc, to replace your worn out counterparts is possible. The brain is still an irreplaceable issue, maybe someone more knowledgeable can weigh in on the effects of aging on the brain. You can certainly experience reduced cognitive performance when your brain isn't continually used (hence the adage that if you never stop learning, you'll end up a clever, sharp-minded old man), but I don't know whether your neurons start dying off when you reach senescence. I would certainly like to see cyber-brain technology a la Ghost in the Shell, but I'm not hedging my bets on seeing it within the next two or three decades.
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  20. #19  
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    I don't think telomeres are involved in aging at all in mammals, since heavily reproducing cells express the protein telomerase, which extends the telomeres. Free radicals may damage the cells, but the cell has a very efficient defense against superoxides.
    Personally, I believe different aspects of old age have independent causes. It's not certain, even improbable, that wrinkles have the same cause as foggy memory just because they both occur mostly in people with worn-out bodies. I don't know, maybe this is obvious for you guys.
    ...Wait, what?
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  21. #20  
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    Telomeres do affect aging in some manner. The telomeres shorten with each cell cycle and eventually they can shorten no more.
    A biophysicist talks physics to the biologists and biology to the physicists, but then he meets another biophysicist, they just discuss women.
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