ageing

CZJ at CU.NIH.GOV CZJ at CU.NIH.GOV
Thu Mar 26 09:28:45 EST 1992


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> To: ageing at genbank.bio.net
> Subject: ageing
> Date: Wed, 25 Mar 92 12:36:29 -0800
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> I am puzzled about two aspects of the free oxygen
> radical theory of ageing.
>
> If ageing is caused by free oxygen radicals damaging
> our DNA, then why is it that most children are born
> without gross defects?  Is the hereditary DNA immune to
> free oxygen radical damage, or is there some repair
> mechanism that corrects the DNA coding errors introduced
> by free radical damage?
>
> Also, if free oxygen radicals introduce random errors in
> our DNA, why are many aspects of ageing so predictable?
> For example, baldness in men has been attributed to
> hereditary factors, not to random damage to our DNA.
> Does this mean that there are multiple mechanisms involved
> in ageing of which free oxygen radical damage is only one
> such mechanism?  If so, what classes of ageing phenomena are
> due to free oxygen radical damage and which classes
> are due to other mechanisms?
>
> - Larry French
>
>

I know little about current theories about aging, but clearly
there is no way that oxygen radicals can be the only cause of
aging.  Many common manifestations of aging have well know
biological causes.  For example, calcium is naturally last from bones
as the organism ages.  This leads in the limit to osteoporosis.
Collagen is increasingly crosslinked during the aging process.
This leads to increased stiffness.  And I am sure an expert
can add to this list.

Jim Cassatt





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