Aging Process - Theories and Thoughts

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Aging Process

The Theories and Thoughts That Explain Aging

Everybody gets older, it is an innate part of life that is impossible to avoid. Although aging is an inevitable and universal phenomenon, many people try to avoid it or postpone it in any way they can; some people even resort to surgery to keep themselves looking young. But why does everybody age? Though there is not a concrete answer to this question as of yet, but over the years experts have managed to come up with several theories that could explain this irritating incident.

Can You Turn Back the Clock?

Orgel’s Theory of Error

One theory related to why people age was Orgel’s 1963 hypothesis. Orgel thought that errors in DNA occurred as a result of problems within the transcription process. His theory said that these errors eventually led to the death of the cell, which was the cause of aging. Though this theory is disregarded today, it is viewed by scientists as being on the same track as modern research in the field.

Aging Process - Maybe it’s Metabolism

The relationship between metabolic rate, longevity, and body size was discovered in 1908 by Max Rubner, and it was the first contribution of many to the energy consumption hypothesis. This idea is based on the thought that all animals are born with a certain amount of expendable energy or substance, and that longevity is based on how quickly they use it.

Eventually, this theory became the “rate of living hypothesis,” which linked the speed of metabolic rate to the speed of biochemical activity to the speed of aging. This is supported by numerous studies, and is in agreement with the observation that mammals with long lifespans experience delayed development.

Experiments have presented conflicting data, however; one study indicated that mice with high metabolic rates actually live longer than mice with lower metabolic rates. Also, there is not a correlation between metabolic rates and maximum lifespans. Today, though this idea is thought to play some role in aging, the general theory of “rate of living” is thought to be false.

Other Unlikely Culprits in the Aging Process

Other theories that explore the reasons behind aging include DNA damage and the Free Radical theory. The former hypothesizes that DNA mutation or accumulated damage leads to aging, while the latter says that the presence of oxidants (which can come from multiple sources, such as ultra violet rays) causes people to age. While neither of these ideas is thought to be entirely true, elements of both are important to current scientific research regarding aging theories.

A Possible Solution

Though none of the scientific theories of the past have been accepted as a concrete explanation for aging, they have provided the fundamental research behind modern scientific investigation. Who knows, maybe if experts eventually find the answer, they’ll be able to come up with a way to slow the process down!

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