By Jan Vijg
Getting older has lengthy considering that been ascribed to the slow accumulation of DNA mutations within the genome of somatic cells. in spite of the fact that, it is just lately that the mandatory subtle know-how has been built to start trying out this concept and its effects. Vijg severely stories the concept that of genomic instability as a potential common explanation for getting older within the context of a brand new, holistic figuring out of genome functioning in complicated organisms due to contemporary advances in useful genomics and structures biology. It offers an updated synthesis of present study, in addition to a glance forward to the layout of concepts to retard or opposite the deleterious results of getting older. this is often rather vital in a time once we are urgently attempting to resolve the genetic section of aging-related illnesses. additionally, there's a turning out to be public popularity of the crucial of figuring out extra concerning the underlying biology of getting older, pushed via carrying on with demographic switch.
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Getting older has lengthy considering the fact that been ascribed to the slow accumulation of DNA mutations within the genome of somatic cells. in spite of the fact that, it's only lately that the required subtle expertise has been constructed to start trying out this thought and its outcomes. Vijg severely reports the concept that of genomic instability as a potential common explanation for getting older within the context of a brand new, holistic figuring out of genome functioning in complicated organisms due to fresh advances in useful genomics and platforms biology.
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Additional info for Aging of the Genome: The Dual Role of DNA in Life and Death
An example is the Gene Ontology, which can be used to describe the biological process, molecular function, and cellular location of any gene product. Ontologies have also become important in systematically collecting phenotypic information. As mentioned above, the term phenotype refers to observable traits and can be applied to any morphologic, biochemical, physiologic, or behavioral characteristic of an organism. The complete phenotypic representation of a species is now known as its phenome. The Mouse Phenome Project is a consortium of academic and industrial participants that promotes the quantitative phenotypic characterization of a deﬁned set of mouse strains under standardized conditions.
For some species, such as C. elegans, this ﬂexibility is so high that interference in pathways of growth and reproduction, for example through single-gene mutations, can lead to 6-fold increases in lifespan. However, such dramatic effects are unlikely to occur in mammals due to their much greater complexity. Hence, whereas functional-genomics approaches can help us to more fully understand how lifespan is controlled in a variety of organisms, for studying aging it will be necessary to focus on its proximal cause: the accumulation of somatic damage.
This explains why it does not change much when conditions improve. Careful comparisons of maximum lifespans for different animal species in captivity reveal signiﬁcant differences, which indicate that lifespan is under genetic control (Fig. 3). 30 THE LOGIC OF AGING (a) (b) Wild (no aging) 100 Survival (%) Log mortality Wild (no aging) Protected (aging) Protected (aging) Mean lifespan 50 Maximum lifespan Age Age Fig. 2 (a) So-called Gompertz plot for animals in the wild (dashed line) and for animals under protective conditions (solid line).
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