By Ian Stuart-Hamilton
With the world's inhabitants getting more and more older, there hasn't ever been a extra urgent desire for the research of outdated age and aging. An creation to Gerontology offers a wide-ranging creation to this significant subject. via assuming no past specialist wisdom and keeping off jargon, this publication will advisor scholars via the entire major topics in gerontology, overlaying either conventional components, equivalent to organic and social getting old, in addition to extra modern parts, corresponding to know-how, the humanities, sexuality and schooling of older adults. An creation to Gerontology is written via a staff of foreign authors with multidisciplinary backgrounds who draw facts from numerous varied views and traditions.
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Additional resources for An Introduction to Gerontology
As aforementioned, the only intervention that might delay human ageing is CR, though because of its side effects it has failed to capture widespread public enthusiasm. One long-sought breakthrough is the development of CR mimetics, products that provide the beneficial actions of CR without its side effects. One candidate CR mimetic is resveratrol, a compound found in certain plants. , 2003). , 2008). , 2009). Additional compounds that modulate the activity of genes associated with CR have been and will be the subject of research for decades to come.
Life history theory provides a structure to understand these differences in lifespan and longevity – which are used herein interchangeably, though often lifespan means average lifespan while longevity represents maximum lifespan. Of interest is the concept of r- and K-selections (MacArthur and Wilson, 1967). In this model, animals in hazardous environments and thus with high mortality will maximize reproduction and thus be r-selected while organisms in non-hazardous environments will maximize performance under crowded conditions and be K-selected.
For mutations in daf-2 to extend lifespan, the activity of a second gene, daf-16, is required. Both daf-2 and daf-16 were named because of their involvement in a developmental arrest form of worms called dauer, induced in times of starvation or crowding and known to be long-lived. Because daf-2 mutants develop normally into adulthood, however, Kenyon’s results indicated the existence of a regulated life extension mechanism. A few years later, Gary Ruvkun and colleagues showed that age-1, daf-2 and daf-16 encode, respectively, a signalling protein of the phosphoinositide-3-kinase family, a member of the insulin receptor family and a member of the forkhead family of transcription factors involved in development.