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Aging: The Paradox of Life by Robin Holliday

By Robin Holliday

For hundreds of years humans were wondered via the inevitability of human getting older. for many of the second one half the 20th century getting older remained a secret, or an unsolved organic challenge. on the finish of the 20 th century a amazing clinical discovery emerged. It used to be now not a unmarried discovery within the ordinary feel, since it was once according to a chain of vital interconnected insights over relatively an extended 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 could possibly already be stated, in spite of the fact that, that the numerous observations and insights that designate getting older aren't permitted as verified wisdom for a very long time. the sphere remains to be choked with scientists, and non-scientists, who're simply chuffed to move on speculating in regards to the 'mystery' of getting older. the purpose of this booklet is to dispel lack of understanding by way of 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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It is the means a complex organism uses to get rid of cells which are damaged beyond repair. 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.

This depended on the evolution of a special form of cell division (known as meiosis) in cells with two sets of chromosomes, in which there is an exact halving of each set to produce nuclei with one set of chromosomes, either in sperm and eggs, or in many cases in resistant spores. The full complement of chromosomes is restored by the fusion of two such nuclei, or cells containing them. The early evolution of sex, and the maintenance of sex during subsequent evolution, is a hotly debated topic in innumerable articles and books.

Thus any animal that continued to grow would eventually reach that limit. We see this also in trees; they keep growing, but eventually if they get too large and tall, they can no longer resist wind forces and fall over. Their anatomical design ensures the mortality of the individual, apart from those species which have special means of vegetative propagation, or have evolved additional mechanical support, such as the Banyan tree. Such a tree may be potentially immortal because it forms, in effect, a clone of identical individuals, radiating out from the centre.

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