Is mammalian aging genetically controlled?


The rate of aging is species-specific, indicating that aging has a strong genetic component. Amongst mammals, the synchronization of the aging process suggests the presence of genetic determinants. In addition, single gene manipulations can change the rate of aging and demonstrate how a few genetic factors can regulate aging. Therefore, I propose that aging is regulated by a small set of genetic mechanisms, a single clock. If we can find what these regulatory mechanisms are, then instead of trying to delay age-related pathologies one by one we may be able to discover how to delay the entire aging process and most, if not all, of its pathologies.

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de Magalhães, J.P. Is mammalian aging genetically controlled?. Biogerontology 4, 119–120 (2003).

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  • gerontology
  • longevity
  • mortality
  • rate of aging
  • senescence