By Jan Vijg
Getting older has lengthy on account that been ascribed to the sluggish accumulation of DNA mutations within the genome of somatic cells. despite the fact that, it is just lately that the mandatory refined know-how has been constructed to start checking out this thought and its outcomes. Vijg seriously studies the idea that of genomic instability as a potential common reason for getting older within the context of a brand new, holistic realizing of genome functioning in complicated organisms due to fresh advances in practical genomics and platforms biology. It offers an up to date synthesis of present learn, in addition to a glance forward to the layout of suggestions to retard or opposite the deleterious results of getting older. this can be relatively vital in a time after we are urgently attempting to resolve the genetic portion of aging-related illnesses. furthermore, there's a turning out to be public reputation of the significant of knowing extra in regards to the underlying biology of getting older, pushed via carrying on with demographic swap.
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Additional resources for Aging of the Genome: The Dual Role of DNA in Life and Death
In reality, biological characteristics involve complex interactions among many components in cells, such as DNA, RNAs, proteins, and small molecules. Emphasizing this integrative nature of biological function, Hartwell and Hopﬁeld coined the term functional modules41. In functional genomics, a distinction is made between the different levels of organization in the cell. The genome, as we have seen, denotes the totality of all genes on all chromosomes in the nucleus of a cell. The complete set of mRNAs, the next hierarchical level below the genome, is called the transcriptome.
At this point in time, there are hundreds of mutant genes in a variety of organisms, from yeast and fruit ﬂies to mice, which increase longevity by dampening growth, reproduction, energy metabolism, or nutrient sensing. There are also mutant genes that cause accelerated aging, but these are not always generally accepted due to the difﬁculties in demonstrating that reduced longevity is genuinely due to accelerated aging or merely a result of a disease or developmental defect. This is discussed extensively in Chapter 5.
A central component of functional genomics, driven by high-throughput methods and information science, is the ability to standardize extensive sets of disparate data. A key attribute in standardizing biological databases, which makes them computationally accessible, is an ontology. An ontology formally deﬁnes a common set of terms that are used to describe and represent a domain. Such vocabularies of terms specify the concepts in a given ﬁeld and avoid semantic confusion. An example is the Gene Ontology, which can be used to describe the biological process, molecular function, and cellular location of any gene product.
Aging of the Genome: The Dual Role of DNA in Life and Death by Jan Vijg