Ever wonder why we age? It’s easy to accept that “we just do” because everything we know of ages in one way or another. Trees get older and die, mountains crumble, and even our sun will someday die. We know that the foundation of life is genetic material replicating itself over and over again. Replacing the old with the new to keep moving forward- creating new life again and again.
If our bodies act this way, how come we age at all? If our cells are continually replicating themselves and replacing the old with the new, why do we age?
As our cells replicate the chance for defects in our DNA goes up. Though defects are rare in respect to how many times they occur within the millions of times our cells replicate, it still happens, and as we get older these defects begin to accrue and the result is the aging of our bodies. Once DNA has become too damaged it simply kills itself.
-Sidenote: this is why Wolverine from X-Men doesn’t age as quickly as everyone else. His genetic mutation (accelerated healing power) allows his cells to reproduce with fewer defects and eventual cell death- but I digress.
After the age of 50, our muscle fibers begin to die and we lose limb strength up to 10 percent each decade. The same goes for our motor neurons which cause the brain to shrink about 2-3 percent each decade starting as early as when we’re in our 30’s or 40’s.
Scientist and researchers are looking closely into the causes of cell defects and how to reduce or eliminate replication errors in our DNA. One of the more promising ideas is introducing nanomachines into our bodies. Biotechnology is believed to be the next revolution in extending life expectancy. One of the leaders behind this technology is none other than Google.
It’s true. Google it…