The biology of aging: 1985–2010 and beyond

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The biology of aging: 1985–2010 and beyond

George M. Martin

FASEB J. 2011; 25: 3756–3762


In this contribution to the series of reflective essays celebrating the 25th anniversary of The FASEB Journal, our task is to assess the growth of research on the biology of aging during this period and to suggest where we might be heading during the next 25 yr. A review of the literature suggests a healthy acceleration of progress during the past decade, perhaps largely due to progress on the genetics of longevity of model organisms. Progress on the genetics of health span in these model organisms has lagged, however. Research on the genetic basis of the remarkable interspecific variations in life span has only recently begun to be seriously addressed. The spectacular advances in genomics should greatly accelerate progress. Research on environmental effects on life span and health span needs to be accelerated. Stochastic variations in gene expression in aging have only recently been addressed. These can lead to random departures from homeostasis during aging.—Martin, G. M. The biology of aging: 1985–2010 and beyond.

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