The Science Of Aging
The Science Of Aging
Aubrey de Grey (Chairman, Methuselah Foundation) gives expert video advice on: What is 'Gerontology'?; Why is it so important for different types of gerontologists to work together?; What causes aging? and more...
What is 'Gerontology'?
Gerontology is a broad range of different topic with relies to the outer lakes, but the outer lake in the human population and of course with the animals , there are things like special Gerontology which the study of house, society, copes with how the people act, how people against the society and triple policies with regards to industrial dealings. Its clinical Gerontology which is more equivalent to diuretics, and that's basically bonds and application of using therapy is already exist to make the best of life to be out lings. When there's bi-Gerontology which is the study of what actually happen to your an aging, the study of actual presence of aging but not necessary with the what you drink I think about it, its really just the study of the phenomenon and finally found the medical gerontology which I am related, my medical gerontology is stand between bi-Gerontology and clinical Gerontology is definitely called directives its thus not do something with the aging but its purposes is in the therapy that does not yet exist, it touches on the development on my much more on necessary and more effective.
Why is it so important for different types of gerontologists to work together?
So, since gerontology includes these very different disciplines, it's important, of course, for the specialists in these disciplines to interact and synergize productively. And that actually doesn't happen nearly as much as it ought to. Sociologists who work on aging tend not to have enough time to be experts in, for example, what's likely to happen in the future in terms of the ability to intervene in aging. And similarly, biogerontologists tend not to have time to study the social consequences of what they do. I try to bridge all those boundaries and bring both the science and the social policy, the social context and indeed further the clinical application all together under what I do.
What causes aging?
Aging is a side effect of being alive in the first place. Let's say, our metabolism, a very complicated network of molecular and cellular processes which keep us alive from one day to the next or from one year to the next. Metabolism has side effects. And these side effects some of them are naturally repaired and reversed by other metabolic processes, but some of them are not. A few of them, the ones that accumulate very, very slowly, evolution has not needed to do anything about them because by the time they start to matter in terms of our health, most of us in awhile would be dead anyone of starvation, you know hypothermia or whatever. So aging is the accumulation of very slowly accumulating molecular and cellular side effects of metabolism.
Is aging a disease?
Whether aging is a disease or not is really a matter of terminology. It's matter of what you define diseases as. I think people spend far too much time asking the question: "Is aging a disease?," because really the only reason they're asking it is so that they can then make assumptions about what they should do about aging on the basis of whether it's a disease or not. Like for example: If you say aging is not a disease, then people could say: Well, therefore it's natural, and there is no point in doing anything about it. For me that's just playing with words. Whether aging is a disease or not, it's certainly a health condition, it's certainly bad for you; and therefore we should do something about it.
Do you think aging is a disorder?
I think its certainly something that got wrong with people. But since it goes wrong with everybody if nothing get conferred, its arguable that universally, that naturally its not really disorder. However, that's a bit misleading, its over a bit over simplistic because all the various age related diseases like diabetes these things are also universal if you don't get anything first. That thing could risk of getting them goes up with age. So again I think it throughout the playing with words to say aging is not a disorder.
Does science fully understand the aging process?
We have an enormously long way to go to fully understand the aging process. At this point we, we only just scratched the surface of the detail mechanistic basis of aging. That's really just an example of the fact that we've only scratched the surface of life of how cells work and how organs work, and how they fail to work is just one example of that. Luckily, the approaches that I've been looking for combating aging are very good in terms of side stepping all about ignorance. Being able to develop something that works despite the fact. There's an awful lot to be done to understand.
What is the difference between 'ageism' and 'gerontophobia'?
Ageism to me is discrimination against the elderly. Gerontophobia is fear of the population being overwhelmed by the elderly. So in a sense they are very closely related, but gerontophobia is even more irrational than ageism in general. At the moment aging is a big problem for society- in the sense that elderly people are frail, dependent and they consume a lot of economic resources, as well of course the fact that aging causes a lot of suffering on both the part of the person whose aging and on the part of their loved ones. So these are reasons why ageism is a hard nut to crack. Why people in one sense feel sorry for the elderly, so we're happy to have things like the state pension fund, but on the other hand we feel that they often get in the way. So, at a subtler level there is a lot of ageism. Gerontophobia is sort of the sharp end of that- it's the fear that the problem of the elderly so to speak, will get even worse as time goes on. So my work is really focused on eliminating the phenomenal logical basis of gerontophobia. In other words, the dependence that the elderly have by making them useful again. Thereby helping to eliminating ageism, because of what we know is the basis of that.
Why do we have a moral responsibility to combat ageism?
I think people think ageism is bad for the same reason that they think racism or sexism is bad. I think that the concept of egalitarianism and of all men being created equal is something that is now very deeply seeded in our ethical framework and I think about that because that is how I feel as well. I certainly feel that this is one of the main reasons why from a moral perspective we have a duty to get on and actually do something about aging as soon as possible and to stop people from going down hill, even though it is a very hard problem and one that will take a lot of money to solve.