By Robin Holliday
For hundreds of years humans were questioned through the inevitability of human getting older. for many of the second one half the 20 th century getting older remained a secret, or an unsolved organic challenge. on the finish of the 20 th century a striking medical discovery emerged. It was once no longer a unmarried discovery within the ordinary experience, since it used to be according to a chain of significant interconnected insights over really 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 might already be acknowledged, besides the fact that, that the numerous observations and insights that designate getting older aren't authorised as confirmed wisdom for a very long time. the sphere continues to be choked with scientists, and non-scientists, who're simply satisfied to move on speculating concerning the 'mystery' of getting older. the purpose of this publication is to dispel lack of information through explaining in non-technical language what are the explanations for getting older and the parable of over the top prolongation of existence.
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Extra resources for Ageing : the paradox of life
Their continued survival would place an unwanted burden on the organism, including in some cases the development of cancer. Fat storage can be regarded as another important maintenance mechanism. In natural environments, the supply of food fluctuates. When it is abundant, some is stored in the form of fat. This is then used up in times of scarcity. Clearly this adaptation benefits survival in harsh or stressful environments. Unfortunately it has bad consequences in any environment where food is always plentiful.
We can pinpoint a fundamental principle in saying that there is a trade-off between investment in reproduction and investment in maintenance. So we find animals which grow and reproduce very quickly but have short lifespans, and animals which grow and reproduce slowly with long lifespans. But we never see the other theoretical possibilities, namely, animals which grow and breed quickly with long lifespans; and animals which grow and breed slowly with short lifespans. The former is a physiological impossibility, and the latter would lead to rapid extinction.
Chapter 4. Multiple Causes In Chapter 2, I described and listed a number of non-renewable structures in the body. Many of these can last a lifetime, but not indefinitely. What we see during ageing are progressive changes in these structures. Here I relate these changes to the multiple causes of ageing. The changes occur with a degree of synchrony, but sometimes one is in advance of the others, and then it is liable to be labelled a disease. Heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease are good examples of this.