Can you tell the difference between the young, healthy cells and the old, damaged ones?
Cellular senescence, as most of you know I’m sure, is the phenomenon by which normal diploid cells lose the ability to divide, normally after about 50 cell divisions in vitro. Some cells become senescent after fewer replication cycles as a result of DNA double strand breaks, toxins, etc. In response to DNA damage (including shortened telomeres), cells either age or self-destruct (apoptosis, programmed cell death) if the damage cannot be easily repaired.
Organismal senescence is the aging of whole organisms. In general, aging is characterized by the declining ability to respond to stress, increased homeostatic imbalance, and increased risk of aging-associated diseases. Death is the ultimate consequence of aging, though “old age” is not a scientifically recognized cause of death because there is always a specific proximal cause, such as cancer, heart disease, or liver failure. Aging of whole organisms is therefore a complex process that can be defined as a progressive deterioration of physiological function, an intrinsic age-related process of loss of viability, and and increase in vulnerability.
In other words, it is the reason we get old and die.
Now, as you rightly know, there’s no point in me inventing time machines and interstellar spaceships if I’m just going to die eventually. That’s why I’m actively working on a cure for aging.
This article from Scientific American seems to have found the key that I’ve been looking for. As it states in the abstract, “evidence in mice suggests that retarding cellular senescence may help slow aging and delay some of the ills associated with it.” By removing old worn out cells and keeping the young, lively ones, it’s possible to extend a mouse’s life. In other words, the authors of this experiment may have discovered the secret to stop aging.
Unfortunately, the rest of the paper is behind a stupid paywall. If someone who’s a subscriber to Scientific American could email me the full article, I will gladly repay you with an extra decade of life. Thanks in advance.
I apologize for the lack of any information about robots in this post.
That is all.