By Jan Vijg

ISBN-10: 019856922X

ISBN-13: 9780198569220

Getting older has lengthy due to the fact been ascribed to the slow accumulation of DNA mutations within the genome of somatic cells. although, it's only lately that the required subtle expertise has been built to start trying out this conception and its outcomes. Vijg seriously stories the idea 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 practical genomics and platforms biology. It offers an updated synthesis of present learn, in addition to a glance forward to the layout of concepts to retard or opposite the deleterious results of getting older. this is often quite vital in a time once we are urgently attempting to resolve the genetic section of aging-related illnesses. furthermore, there's a transforming into public popularity of the crucial of knowing extra concerning the underlying biology of getting older, pushed via carrying on with demographic swap.

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Extra info for Aging of the Genome: The Dual Role of DNA in Life and Death

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For example, the extended longevity in late-reproducing fruit flies mentioned above appeared to be associated with a coordinated upregulation of genes specifying cellular defense mechanisms against free-radical attack. Consequently, these flies showed decreased levels of oxidative damage to proteins and lipids66. In addition, delayed senescence in the long-lived flies was accompanied by reduced fecundity, supporting the idea of a trade-off between reproductive effort and survival (see also below).

Melanogaster, the fruit fly. Clare and Luckinbill61 restricted reproduction of this organism to late age, thereby increasing the intensity of selection during the later portion of the lifespan. They did this for 21–29 generations, at two different THE LOGIC OF AGING 33 larval densities. Populations with high and uncontrolled numbers of competing larvae responded strongly to selection for late-life reproduction, with the length of adult life increasing by as much as 50%. Under such conditions selection produced true-breeding long-lived lines.

For example, while the entire human genome may contain no more than 30 000 genes, there may be three times that many proteins, due to alternative splicing; this is the production of more than one transcript by including or excluding specific exons (the DNA segments of a gene that are protein-coding; see Chapter 3) or altering the length of a specific exon. This is without 20 INTRODUCTION taking into account posttranslational modification, such as the attachment of phosphate, acetate, lipid, or sugar groups.

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