Age Gracefully

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Posted by: | Posted on: April 24, 2017

Why Do We Age?

The fountain of youth – such metaphorical piece of myth that alludes to immortality has been used over and over again on different forms of literature both in the past and in the present. Oftentimes, the fountain of youth’s classification as myth is challenged from time to time with some expeditions or travels that claim to have finally found the fountain’s location. Nonetheless, this recurring symbol of eternal youth in most forms of literature and art, verifies man’s innate affinity with immortality.

In our contemporary setting, this longing for immortality is almost within mankind’s grasp with the promise of better technologies and sciences in the near future. However, to completely grasp and understand the means of acquiring eternal life or a very long life span in the very least, one must first see the process behind our aging. This question kept many brilliant scientists hell-bent on searching for clues and theories that may answer such relentless query.

Through the course of these scientific explorations on the realm of human aging, scientists were able to come up with a term that refers to the human aging process – senescence. This term refers to a degeneration implication that manifests itself as people get old. Senescence is believed to be the result of a biochemical deregulation that is a natural component of life.

However, the effects of senescence vary among different species. Take for example a bat and a rodent, both of them are classified as mammals and both are of the same size, but a bat generally lives longer than a rodent for the former can live up to 30 years while the latter usually have a life span of only two to three years. However, some animal species such as rockfish, turtles, and lobsters display a certain trait known as the negligible senescence. This trait enables these specific animal species to live through a longer period of time compared to other species. Some of these species can even live for an unbelievable span of 200 years.

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