As humans, it is known that aging is part of growing up. The average human has a life expectancy of seventy-seven years old in the United States (Why do we age? ). Most people dread their birthdays when they get to a certain age simply because that is another year older. Some people even fear aging assuming that they are another year closer to death. Does this feeling have to be this way? Should people have to fear getting older? Should they actually be looking forward to it? Many Americans do not know the answer to these questions and that is okay.
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There are a lot of theories and tests done by scientists to show how aging occurs. Even though aging happens to everyone, humans do have the ability to slow down how quickly they age. The aging process as it is known involves many different theories. One theory is that our genes determine the length of time humans have to live their lives. Some scientists have said that if this is true, there should be a way to manipulate that age-fguring gene to make people live longer lives.
Another theory as to why aging happens is that over time our bodies, along with its DNA, cannot function properly because of getting damaged. If these damages get too serious, our bodies ventually stop working the way they should because of not being able to handle the damages any longer. A third theory that scientists gathered is that mitochondria may have something to do with the aging process. Mitochondria are “organelle in the cytoplasm of cells that functions in energy production” (Mitochondria). Not all DNA in our bodies is located in the nucleus, resulting in some DNA to be in our mitochondria.
Since our mitochondria are energy creators and may become mutated, they could be damaged and even dysfunctional, leading to aging of the body as a result. Scientists have found evidence in their research to back up all hree of these theories. Thus, making it very difficult to determine the exact reason as to why the aging process occurs and also what theory is the best one to trust. By looking at the tests scientists have done on animals, they can get a better look at the aging process and how it affects the body.
For example, William Mair, the assistant professor of genetics and complex diseases at Harvard School of Public Health, started a lab last November. He, along with the members of his lab, decided to start testing on the “Caenorhabditis elegans” which is more commonly known as the lab nematode, or worm. He knew that these worms would show signs of aging quickly considering that their life span reaches about two weeks. Mair then started to manipulate and test these worms in hopes of discovering what the energy sensing does to stress resistance and also healthy aging of the worm. Mair hopes that his work in the worm will identify molecules that have an effect on aging-related disease… ” (Mair, William). By testing on worms, other scientists have gathered that mutating certain genes could increase their lifespan immensely. This helps to support the first theory that deals with the age-figuring gene. The increase that was found in the lifespan of these worms would translate to the human race approximately reaching age three hundred (Why do we age? ). This conclusion seems pretty farfetched, but it is a theory of scientists that hope to look into it with further testing.
Most scientists ask themselves the question, “Is what we are doing ethical problems arising from biological research and its applications in such fields as organ transplantation and more. Scientists do not want to necessarily change the way people age to make them live forever because that is not what the human body is intended to do. But rather, scientists and researchers gather the information needed to help humans live their lives to the fullest potential that they can. Along with tests being done on worms, scientists have also done testing on mice.
A group of researchers in Sweden decided to mutate more DNA and determine if that would increase the rate of aging. In the experimental mice, the end result showed that more mutations took place over time. “The mutant mice had more mutations in their mtDNA [mitochondrial DNA] and aged faster than normal mice” (Why do we age? ). Monkeys have also been part of the aging process tests. By restoring a chemical imbalance in the brains of elderly monkeys, the study scientists transformed aging brain cells into young ones… ” (Forgetful? ).
Monkeys have been used many times before for studies about the human brain. The results that are gathered after these tests are more likely to also be true for humans for that they are similar. This test in particular had researchers look at the memory of monkeys. The monkeys were separated into three separate stages of their life cycle. The younger monkeys showed more activity in their memory circuit than the older aged monkeys did. By owering the chemical “cyclic AMP” they realized it would replenish the monkeys’ brain functions. Scientists have not confirmed if the same results would hold true in humans.
Even though these tests, along with many more, have shown positive results in increasing the lifespan of animals, scientists cannot be sure that these mutations will show positive results in human studies. Although aging is inevitable, there are ways to slow the aging process down. Taking good care of one’s body is one of the keys to slowing down the aging process. With proper personal hygiene and getting enough rest each night, one’s body will be in better shape. Making sure to keep the immune system up and running plays a big part of slowing the aging process down.
The way a person’s chances of getting sick are lowered is through a strong immune system, which can also help keep the body younger for a longer time period. When the immune system weakens, it usually results in the body deteriorating over time due to sickness. A person’s diet makes up a huge part of their physical appearance and internal well-being, determining a person’s overall looks and health. A healthy diet filled with protein, fruits, vegetables, fiber, vitamins, and minerals are good nutritional sources. Along with these foods, people also need to drink plenty of fluids including eight glasses of water a day at least.
Doing so will nourish one’s skin and make it look radiant and feel healthy. Another good way to slow down the aging process is to make sure to get some type of daily activity in. Studies have shown that thirty to forty minutes a day is really all someone needs for regular exercise. Exercising also helps to reduce levels of stress and built-up emotions. If a person works out regularly, chances of becoming happier will increase, which could also extend your lifespan. Scientists have concluded useful facts and evidence on ways to slow the aging process down naturally.
Without doing these things to help one through body and mind, falling victim to aging could happen quicker than one might think. In conclusion, the aging process that all humans go over time are arguably accurate in that the tests they have done go through multiple cycles of testing. When the various theories first came about, many different labs started to run tests on animals. With the scientists choosing different animals to test on, the information they concluded can be classified as precise because of the variety f different animals that they used.
The things that humans can do to help their bodies stay active and live healthier lives could be as simple as showering daily and eating healthier. With a healthier diet and a little personal hygiene, a person’s body will not deteriorate as quickly as it would with poor hygiene and poor eating habits. Laughter is also known to add a few years onto one’s lifespan. Being happy and getting a good night’s sleep every night are a couple of great ways to slow down the aging process. People know this by all of the adequate research scientists have performed over the years.