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Recent advances in biogerontology (the biology of ageing) have identified many genes and pathways where intervention in animals can decelerate ageing, which results in partial resistance to a wide spectrum of ageing-related diseases, and an increase in healthy lifespan. This raises the prospect of a new, preventative approach in humans to the disease that is ageing to improve late-life health in the future. But despite such progress, the fundamental mechanisms of biological ageing remain largely undiscovered, and their nature constitutes one of the greatest unsolved mysteries in science. Recently, an influential hypothesis in biogerontology – that accumulation of random molecular damage causes ageing – has been challenged, and based on recent discoveries in the field, new theories about what ageing is are emerging and being tested in short-lived animal models such as fruit flies and nematode worms.
David Gems, Professor of Biogerontology, Institute of Healthy Ageing, UCL, Dr David Gems is the Assistant Director of the Institute of Healthy Ageing within which his own laboratory studies ageing using the model organism c.elegans. For further details please view his link: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/~ucbtdag/