What exactly is aging?


On a cellular level, what is the exact process?

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7 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

As DNA replicates, data is eventually loss/damaged, resulting in aging.

Think about making a copy of the document, then further making copies of the copy. Eventually, you find the document is muddy with marks and words on the document will become more and more distorted.

Same thing happens with DNA

Anonymous 0 Comments

There’s something called “enzymes”. They’re capable of breaking down the structure of things in the body.

Everything you eat is broken down by some or several enzymes, for instance. Your body does need broccoli, but it does need the things in its composition – enzymes break it down to allow you to absorb the constituent parts.

There’s an enzyme called “telomerase”, which breaks down “telomere”.

This happens naturally over time, and is the reason for “aging”.

Telomere can be thought of as a “protective tip” for chromosomes (which carry genetic information for “how your body should work”).

The shorter they become, the more you age.


I am not a doctor.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Check out David Sinclair, prof at Harvard. He’s probably one of the leading researchers for longevity. He’s like 55 but looks 30. Takes a range of supplements and has a few key lifestyle habits.

He does a good job explaining what aging is and how to stop it (arguable).

Anonymous 0 Comments

Over time our bodies accumulate “damage”, there’s [r/longevity](https://www.reddit.com/r/longevity) but also check out Aubrey de Grey: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=AvWtSUdOWVI .

Anonymous 0 Comments

Biologist here 🙂

Without going into too much jargony detail: The way DNA replicates whenever a cell divides, a few nucleotides (the A,C,T,Gs that make up DNA) are lost from the end of the DNA strand. The mechanism of DNA replication has no way to copy the ones at the very end on one side.

So to help prevent losing important DNA, we have “telomeres” which are just long segments of DNA that aren’t important for your body, they just exist to slowly get corroded away without harm to the more vital DNA. Eventually those telomeres get very short and you start losing the important DNA too.

Beyond just the telomeres, every time your DNA is replicated there are errors. Most of those errors are caught quickly and repaired, or don’t cause any harm. But eventually over the course of your lifespan, harmful mutations do start accumulating which can cause cancer but also more subtle damage to cells, reducing their function.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Think about making photocopies of photocopies in an infinite loop. At some point all that was written will be lost.

Anonymous 0 Comments

As simple as I can be: (btw I’m in no way qualified) Your DNA gets read every time a cell wants to do stuff like make proteins. It can handle DNA like robots moving boxes in a huge warehouse (flawlessly), but sometimes it can mess up because thats just how all things biological are. The DNA can be changed or affected in some way, which changes the instructions that the cell follows to do whatever. Over time, these changes accumulate and can make the cell less efficient, less capable or even get confused and think its another cell (sometimes the elderly will grow hairs on weird parts of their body like shoulder, and thats because the really old skin cells change their DNA so much that they think they are hair cells!). Eventually, enough of the cells in your organs/immune system get old and wear out until some disease easily overcomes the body, resulting in dying of old age (the exact cause of death was some disease, but it was also caused by old age so thats what we call it). That’s a high schooler’s memory of biology class anyways, I think its all accurate but idk