Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Development Causes Aging


Development, the process that gives rise to an adult organism also causes aging, according to Harvard Medical School researchers Joao Pedro de Magalhaes and George Church. Joao Pedro de Magalhaes is a Portuguese microbiologist.

In “Genomes Optimize Reproduction: Aging as a Consequence of the Developmental Program,” appearing in the August issue of the journal Physiology, Joao Pedro de Magalhaes and George Church assert that the aging process is driven by the same genetic processes that drive development.

The idea that development is linked to aging has been frowned upon by scientists for decades, but new evidence demonstrates the two are not only linked but that aging and development are regulated by the same genetic mechanisms. “We now know of several animals that can delay development and as a result delay aging as well,” said lead author de Magalhaes. “Even in mammals there is growing evidence that aging is a consequence of developmental mechanisms. For instance, the pace of development influences the pace of aging, suggesting that the timing of developmental mechanisms determines the timing of aging in mammals.” Hence, the researchers argue that the same genes that regulate the way children grow and develop will later be responsible for their degeneration.

While the same genes drive development and aging, the researchers do not consider that aging is an intentional product of evolution like development. “I don’t think aging is under strong selection,” de Magalhaes said. “What happens, at least in higher organisms like mammals, is that evolution is not about selecting for long life. Evolution is about optimizing developmental mechanisms for reproduction. Once an organism has passed its genes to the next generation evolution gives up on it and the same genes responsible for the growth and maturation of that organism will inadvertently end up killing it. Examples include cell proliferation genes that are crucial in embryonic development but at older ages become harmful and can cause cancer and other age-related diseases.”

One optimistic aspect of this new work is that scientists already know a number of genes regulating development and aging. “Some hormones like growth hormone and genes involved in insulin-like signaling appear to do just that: they regulate growth and development early in life and later contribute to aging. Still,” de Magalhaes warned, “there is a lot of work to be done before we know all the genes involved. Development and aging are so complex that it will be some time before we fully understand them.”

Joao Magalhaes | alfa
Further information:

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht ‘Farming’ bacteria to boost growth in the oceans
24.10.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für marine Mikrobiologie

nachricht Calcium Induces Chronic Lung Infections
24.10.2016 | Universität Basel

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Oasis of life in the ice-covered central Arctic

24.10.2016 | Earth Sciences

‘Farming’ bacteria to boost growth in the oceans

24.10.2016 | Life Sciences

Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

24.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

More VideoLinks >>>