Lecture 1 Overview 09 - BIOLOGY OF LONGEVITY AGING Dr...

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BIOLOGY OF LONGEVITY & AGING W2009 Dr. Robert Arking Overview of the Course The major questions that this course will attempt to answer are listed on the syllabus. Over the past century, we have made a great deal of progress in developing the answers to these questions. In the past few years, a sufficient amount of insightful work has been done so that we now have the beginnings of a general theory of aging: Aging arises out of the tension between an organism’s need to reproduce and its need to maintain itself. The need to reproduce generally trumps the need to maintain oneself, and so we age due to a lack of repair. As we will see, almost all the available data is consistent with this concept. However, there are of course certain gaps in our knowledge, and so we do not yet have a complete and generally accepted theory which can unilaterally define the field. The goal of the course will be to examine these concepts, in the manner outlined in the syllabus. To summarize briefly what we know about aging: 1. Almost all organisms age, some rapidly, some gradually, some slowly. This common property of
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