No single gene for ageing

Sep 12, 2005

According to professor Thomas Kirkwood of the University of Newcastle, there is no single gene for ageing. Throughout time, Humans have used energy to get food, produce offspring and survive danger – not to repair and maintain cells. So the maintenance system in the body slowly breaks down.

This topic was of great interest at the seminar for ageing at the conference "Functional genomics and disease" taking place in Oslo, Norway. Thomas Kirkwood is the director of the internationally recognised Institute of Ageing and Health (IAH).

Developmentally it has been more important for humans to invest energy in reproduction and not in maintenance or repair of the body over time.

But genetic factors do exist. "Approximately 25 percent of how a person ages is inherited from parents," says Kirkwood. "Stress, environment, nutrition, lifestyle and immunity play an additional role. Great variation between individuals can be seen in organisms such as round worms – and in humans."

Studies of ageing also give insight into the causes of cancer, because cancer and ageing have the same background causes, thinks Vilhelm Bohr, professor at the University of Baltimore in the United States.

"Cancer is more frequent with age. We must understand the causes of ageing to be able to understand why we have cancer," points out Bohr during his presentation at the conference.

Kirkwood's paper was presented at the "Functional genomics and disease" conference - Genetics Conference, Oslo, Norway, University of Oslo and European Science Foundation (ESF)

Source: The Research Council of Norway

Explore further: Knowledgeable consumers more likely to buy when given fewer options

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

P90X? Why consumers choose high-effort products

16 hours ago

Stuck in traffic? On hold for what seems like an eternity? Consumers often face situations that undermine their feelings of control. According to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research, when a person's sense of con ...

Overdoing it: Multiple perspectives confuse consumers

16 hours ago

Television commercials for luxury vehicles pack a lot in their 30-second running times: the camera offers quick shots of the soft leather upholstery, the shiny colors, the state-of-the-art entertainment system, ...

User comments : 0