Download e-book for kindle: An Introduction to Gerontology by Ian Stuart-Hamilton

By Ian Stuart-Hamilton

With the world's inhabitants getting more and more older, there hasn't ever been a extra urgent desire for the learn of outdated age and growing old. An advent to Gerontology offers a wide-ranging creation to this crucial subject. by means of assuming no previous specialist wisdom and averting jargon, this booklet will advisor scholars via all of the major matters in gerontology, overlaying either conventional parts, equivalent to organic and social growing old, in addition to extra modern components, akin to expertise, the humanities, sexuality and schooling of older adults. An creation to Gerontology is written by means of a workforce of foreign authors with multidisciplinary backgrounds who draw proof from a number of various views and traditions.

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The first of these genes was identified somewhat serendipitously by Andrzej Bartke and colleagues. While working on a mouse strain called the Ames dwarf mouse, which has a small body size due to a lack of growth hormone, Bartke and colleagues noticed that animals were living longer than expected. Intrigued, they conducted a careful study in which they showed that indeed the Ames dwarf mice can live roughly 50 per cent longer than controls (Brown-Borg, Borg, Meliska and Bartke, 1996). Ames dwarf mice are the result of a mutation in a single gene called Prop1, which is essential for the production of growth hormone and prolactin in the pituitary gland.

A few years later, Gary Ruvkun and colleagues showed that age-1, daf-2 and daf-16 encode, respectively, a signalling protein of the phosphoinositide-3-kinase family, a member of the insulin receptor family and a member of the forkhead family of transcription factors involved in development. These three genes – as well as many others – have since been shown to play roles in a pathway known as the insulin/insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1) signalling pathway. This pathway encompasses hormonal signals that trigger a signal transduction cascade regulating ageing not only in worms but also in flies and, as detailed below, mice (Finch and Ruvkun, 2001; Kenyon, 2010; Tatar, Bartke and Antebi, 2003).

Arguably, the first model of the evolution of ageing was put forward by Peter Medawar more than half a century after Weismann’s work. Inspired by earlier work from the evolutionary biologists Fisher and Haldane, Medawar assumed that, because the greatest contribution to create a new generation comes from young, not old organisms, the force of natural selection fades with age (Medawar, 1952). In the wild, the mortality of most animals is very high. 01 per cent, then there is little evolutionary pressure to select for gene variants, called alleles, which maintain function until age 5.

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An Introduction to Gerontology by Ian Stuart-Hamilton

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