By Robin Holliday
For hundreds of years humans were wondered through the inevitability of human getting older. for many of the second one 1/2 the 20 th century getting older remained a secret, or an unsolved organic challenge. on the finish of the 20 th century a notable medical discovery emerged. It was once now not a unmarried discovery within the traditional feel, since it used to be in response to a sequence of significant interconnected insights over particularly a protracted time period. those insights made it attainable for the first actual time to appreciate the organic purposes for getting older in animals and guy. it may well already be acknowledged, even if, that the various observations and insights that specify getting older aren't authorised as verified wisdom for a very long time. the sector remains to be jam-packed with scientists, and non-scientists, who're simply chuffed to move on speculating concerning the 'mystery' of getting older. the purpose of this publication is to dispel lack of awareness through explaining in non-technical language what are the explanations for getting older and the parable of over the top prolongation of lifestyles.
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Extra resources for Ageing : the paradox of life
This is the result of successful adaptation to habitats as diverse as the sea (whales and dolphins), the air (bats), or underground (moles). Yet all these animals retain constant anatomical features, for example, a given vertebra of a whale, in spite of the huge difference in size, has a very similar shape to one in a mouse, or in a human. The internal organs, vascular system, muscles and nervous system all have common features. Striking variables often relate directly to time. For example, the gestation period for an elephant in 640 days, whereas for a mouse it is 20 days.
We know that patterns of reproduction vary greatly amongst mammals, but more specifically than that, we can see that the rates of reproduction, and the potential number of offspring that can be produced also vary enormously. Before developing this theme further, it is very important to make the distinction between an animal’s life in a natural environment, and a life in a protected environment, such as a zoo, or under domestication. As I have repeatedly stressed, animals live in hazardous natural environments.
Cancer is a major age-associated disease, apart from childhood leukaemias and some other fairly uncommon types of tumour. Epidemiologists have known for a long time that the rising incidence of the one of the commonest types of tumours (carcinomas) with age can be explained on the basis of several sequential events (in the range 4–6). Some have concluded that cancer is nothing to do with ageing; it is simply time-dependent! This becomes a semantic issue, because ageing is itself a time-dependent process, or more accurately, a set of processes In cancer, it is thought that the events must occur successively in a given cell lineage, because it is well known that tumours originate for a single precursor cell.