Evolutionary biologists have shown that many of the adverse effects associated with the ageing process are the (by)products of certain genes: the manifestation of the negative effects of these genes only late in life has effectively constrained their elimination from the germ line by natural selection. In addition, during evolution genes have evolved that govern mechanisms for the protection of the body against exogenous and endogenous insults. These two types of genes, in interaction both with themselves and with the environment specify the maximum life span of a species. New scientific developments, especially in molecular biology, allow the careful analysis of the genetic information and its manipulation. On the basis of these developments more insight will be obtained in the causes of ageing and it will be possible to design new therapies for many of the adverse effects associated with ageing. In the long term it may be possible to remove the basic causes of ageing by genetic manipulation. The mission of the biomedical sciences may then be considered as completed.
|Translated title of the contribution||Extension of life: the apotheosis of the molecular biomedical sciences?|
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Tijdschrift voor Gerontologie en Geriatrie|
|State||Published - Oct 1 1990|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geriatrics and Gerontology