The biological basis of ageing: a brief guide

  • Stephen J. Louw Geriatric Unit, Medical School, University of Cape Town, Observatory


Improved understanding of genetics and the protective mechanisms that have evolved at the cellular level now makes it possible to present a unified hypothesis of the biology of ageing. Previously, two opposing theories of ageing - "genetic-programming" theory and "wear-and-tear" theory - led to apparently divergent research thrusts. The recognition that both theories are aspects of the same phenomenon different levels of cell function - allows a deeper understanding of the contribution that each school has made to present notions of the biology of ageing.


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