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.
Joao Magalhaes | alfa
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