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Why Do Humans Age? Essay

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Human beings age and they have since the beginning of time, but it remains an unsolved mystery. This enigma has remained in the dark until the recent innovations technologies have shed some light on this elusive topic; cells are the key to figuring out why humans age. Aging seems to be a relatively simple process, but the more it is studied, it is evident that it is rather complex. There are a myriad of factors that contribute to aging, but none of them can single handedly answer the question of why humans age. This age long question is at the forefront of medical research. As a result, discoveries are frequently made, which contribute to the ever growing pool of knowledge. Perhaps in time, by researching this topic, the human lifespan will lengthen and the diseases that often plague the elderly can be prevented or subdued to a greater extent. Furthermore, human aging is proven to be closely linked with illnesses such as cancer, which is why so many world class scientists are pursuing this topic. Interestingly enough, there is no universal theory that is widely accepted by the scientific community; however, there are many theories that credibly explain the science behind aging. Aging is a subject that should be studied because it directly benefits many lives, and has tangible results.
As medical and scientific equipment begins to evolve, many interesting discoveries have been made over decades of meticulous research. These discoveries enable scientists to build on their knowledge and come up with the theories that they do. For example, the discovery of telomeres was a monumental step forward in this field. Telomeres are protective structures on the ends of DNA strands. These structures gradually shorten to a point where the...


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...y are meant to do so. Other theories such as the free radical theory have more scientific evidence. A molecule produced by the digestive system, specifically originating in the mitochondria [Nelson, Nathan C. Nelson Department of Physics, Ohio State University]. These rogue radical molecules can destroy healthy cells, which contributes to the death of the entire organism. There are some older theories that date further back, such as the “Error and Repairs Theory, [Dr. Leslie Orgel, Salk Institute], which theorizes that through the process of cell division, too many deoxyribonucleic acid errors are produced for the organism to continue carrying out all life processes.
Aging is a subject that is worth pursuing, especially as the baby boomers generation grows older. It is important that medical technology is able to keep up with the demands of the aging population.



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