We’re getting closer to understanding how aging works. First it was telemeres, now there appears to be some genetic body clock. You have to ask why. You have to wonder as well what happens if we can actually stop or even reverse that body clock and living beyond 100, to 500, a 1000, 5000 years or more becomes possible. Life, but not as we know it, Jim.
Bye Bye Me
|Why do we age?
Why do our bodies fade away and die?
What is it in our DNA that proscribes
the seconds, minutes, hours, days of our allotted lives?
What chromosomal gene wields the sword
and determines when to cut the cord of life?
Are we just vessels bearing life through time?
Here to host the viral spiral,
here to reproduce, having fun along the way,
runners in life’s relay race,
bearers of mortality.
Then cometh the gene cometh the day
to pass the baton of immortality.
Bye bye body, bye bye me.
I’ve served you well, my selfish gene.
Think on me when I’m long gone
and you live on.
20th October 2013
Notes: “Scientists discover DNA body clock.” A US scientist has discovered an internal body clock based on DNA that measures the biological age of our tissues and organs. The clock shows that while many healthy tissues age at the same rate as the body as a whole, some of them age much faster or slower. The age of diseased organs varied hugely, with some many tens of years “older” than healthy tissue in the same person, according to the clock. The clock has already revealed some intriguing results. Tests on healthy heart tissue showed that its biological age – how worn out it appears to be – was around nine years younger than expected. Female breast tissue aged faster than the rest of the body, on average appearing two years older. The clock ticked fastest in the years up to around age 20, then slowed down to a steadier rate. Whether the DNA changes cause ageing or are caused by ageing is an unknown that scientists are now keen to work out. Researchers say that unravelling the mechanisms behind the clock will help them understand the ageing process and hopefully lead to drugs and other interventions that slow it down.
- Scientists discover DNA body clock (theguardian.com)