Discussion of all aspects of cellular structure, physiology and communication.
I see a lot of comments on here about shortening telomeres causing aging. The telomeres are a bit more tricky than that.
Telomeres are indeed noncoding regions at the end of DNA that protect the rest of the DNA sort of like the hard part at the end of a shoe-string.
When the telomeres get too short, the DNA can become exposed and damaged. However, if telomeres are kept forever long, the increased risk of cancer outweighs any good of keeping the cell alive. Cancerous cells are only dangerous because they can keep the telomeres long enough to continually divide and make copies of the mutant onco genes (this is simplified--I know).
Further, I think it is certainly scientific to ask "Why" we age. The word, "Why", in this situation implies a cause and effect relationship. If such-in-such did or did not happen, then would the cells age.
The real problem is defining what aging is on a cellular level. We know what age looks like on a macroscopic level and we understand age chronologically, but the fact is, some people die from age-related illnesses at much shorter times in their lives than others. We might say that they aged more rapidly.
I did a research paper my sophomore year of college (last year) on the issue of aging and life rejuvenation theories.
There is a lot of buzz about SENS theory. And although I like SENS, I cannot say whether or not it is valid (as a lot of highly trained bio-gerontologists disagree over this). However, reading about the SENS plan to reverse aging will give you the 7 currently accepted basic reasons for why we age.
Let me know what you think
Mike's Online Biology: MOB University
Interesting stuff on aging Tmbirkhead. Coq10, aceytyl carnitine, NADH stuff like that seems to be the way to go based on orthomolecular medicine (Linus Pauling, Abram Hoffer).
Both lived in to their 90's and man they were still sharp as a razor as witnessed by these videos. Random interesting thing based on Peter Duesbergs book 'Inventing the AIDS virus' both him and Linus Pauling are the only 2 members of the national academy of science to have papers rejected for publishing (he says they could normally just skip the peer review and go straight to publishing) Dusberg for a paper on 'HIV' (and its lack of ever being proved to exist) and Linus Pauling for a paper on high dose Vit c and cancer.
...And I didn't say that "essential vitamins/cofactors" don't exist or don't play a role in the body, which is what you're implying that I said. As I'm sure you know, orthomolecular medicine involves the consumption of those compounds to an extent that is, to the best of our knowledge, far above the levels biochemically necessary to carry out their functions.
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