Why do we age?

  title={Why do we age?},
  author={Thomas B. L. Kirkwood and Steven N. Austad},
The evolutionary theory of ageing explains why ageing occurs, giving valuable insight into the mechanisms underlying the complex cellular and molecular changes that contribute to senescence. Such understanding also helps to clarify how the genome shapes the ageing process, thereby aiding the study of the genetic factors that influence longevity and age-associated diseases. 

Ageing: The old worm turns more slowly

Detailed studies of cellular changes in ageing nematode worms show that they, like humans, suffer progressive muscle deterioration. Randomness of cell damage is another shared hallmark of the ageing

Ageing – Future Directions for Research in the Biology of Ageing

An increasing fraction of the world's population is living to an age when intrinsic biological constraints take their toll on health and quality of life through age-related frailty, as well as suffering from a wide range of age-associated disabilities and diseases.

Towards an e-biology of ageing: integrating theory and data

This work describes how a new web-based modelling initiative is seeking to integrate data and hypotheses from diverse biological sources that affect many tissues in an organism.

Evolution of ageing

  • T. Kirkwood
  • Biology
    Mechanisms of Ageing and Development
  • 2002

Understanding the Odd Science of Aging

The place of genetics in ageing research

Six experts present their opinions and comment on future directions in ageing research and how far is ageing controlled by the authors' genes.

The aging-disease false dichotomy: understanding senescence as pathology

This essay aims to foster a realistic understanding of aging by scrutinizing ideas old and new, which underpins various erroneous traditional ideas about aging.

Reflections on Aging: Normal Developmental Process or Disease?

The process of aging is unavoidable and unrelenting in human beings. Is aging a normal stage of human development or a disease that can be treated, delayed, or perhaps even cured? This article expl...

Sex and ageing




Evolution of ageing

This work has shown that mortality may be due to an energy-saving strategy of reduced error regulation in somatic cells, which supports Orgel's ‘error catastrophe’ hypothesis and offers a new basis for the study of normal and abnormal ageing syndromes and of apparently immortal transformed cell lines.

Genetic analysis of ageing: role of oxidative damage and environmental stresses

The goal here is to seek evidence for common mechanisms among diverse organisms amenable to genetic analysis and oxidative damage is a candidate for such a public mechanism of ageing.

Human senescence

  • T. Kirkwood
  • Medicine
    BioEssays : news and reviews in molecular, cellular and developmental biology
  • 1996
Progress in understanding the biological basis of the ageing process is reviewed, particularly with regard to the genetic contribution to senescence and longevity, and the scale of the task that remains is assessed.

The biology of human ageing: Frontmatter

The resulting book has four main sections: the evolution and genetics of ageing, biological age assessment, demographic and social aspects, and the nutritional and physiological aspects of ageing and longevity.

DNA, mutations and aging.

Time of Our Lives: The Science of Human Aging

The Funeral Season considers attitudes to aging, the cancer connection, and the Genie of the Genome in search of Wonka-Vite.

Evolutionary biology of aging

The evolutionary theory of aging Observation of aging Experimental tests of the evolutionary theory of aging Genetic mechanisms form the evolution of aging Comparative biology of aging An

Natural selection: Evolution of lifespan in C. elegans

It is shown here that a mutation that greatly increases the lifespan of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans does indeed exhibit a fitness cost, as demonstrated during starvation cycles that may mimic field conditions, thereby validating the pleiotropy theory of ageing.

Longevity, senescence, and the genome

By comparing species that have different developmental and life spans, Finch proposes a typology of senescence from rapid to gradual to negligible, and he provides the first multiphyletic calculations of mortality rate constants.

Longevity and the genetic determination of collagen glycoxidation kinetics in mammalian senescence.

  • D. SellM. Lane V. Monnier
  • Biology
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
  • 1996
The results suggest that there is a progressive age-related deterioration of the process that controls the collagen glycoxidation rate, and the ability to withstand damage due to gly Coxidation and the Maillard reaction may be under genetic control.