Sunday, August 25, 2019

Developmental Biology Research Paper Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 2500 words

Developmental Biology - Research Paper Example Epigenetic factors refer to changes other than the changes at the level of DNA that lead to changes in heredity. These include DNA methylation which is present in all known vertebrates. This paper aims to study recent literature and studies that have been produced in order to find out the factors that affect aging. For this purpose, literature dated after 2006 has been used in order to ensure that the information is as recent as possible. This study will be useful in developing a better understanding of a vital part of developmental biology that is aging. INTRODUCTION Human race has always been fascinated by the idea of eternal youthfulness and functionality. The physiological and psychological changes that occur with age have always haunted humans and as a result, a lot of time, money and effort have gone into discovering the reasons behind aging in order to avoid the effects of growing age. With the advent of newer technologies, scientists have come to see aging as a process that o ccurs at the molecular level that eventually shows its effect at the level of the organ and later the whole organism. Some of the physiological changes that occur with age include decreased activity of neurotransmitters, a fall in sensory acuity and perception and a reduction in circulatory capacity. These changes lead to the loss of functionality that is associated with aging at the level of an organism. At the level of the organ, these changes occur due to the inability of the existing cells to replace the dying or damaged cells in order to maintain function. Thus, we see several diseases that pertain to specific organs and are closely related to increasing age. The inability to replace the older cells with new ones is a loss of functionality at the cellular level. The biochemical machinery within a cell enables the cell to replicate adequately so that the number of functional cells is always enough to maintain the health of an organ. However, with age, changes within this machine ry shift the balance such that the process slows down gradually affecting the organ hence the organism (Morimoto and Cuervo). Therefore, the real key to unlocking the secret behind aging lies in the factors that affect the cellular machinery. Whether it is the change in DNA, a change in gene expression or a change in the environment of the organism which eventually penetrates his system that regulates aging and to what extent is a question that has been investigated extensively in recent past. This research paper takes a detailed look at such investigations in an attempt to understand how aging is affected by genetic, epigenetic or environmental factors. Aging: effect of genes, epigenetics and environment Genes and aging The field of biological aging has been exploring the effect of genes on aging with a view of not only attaining the capability to slow or stop the process of aging but also to stop the development of several disease that have very strong links with increasing age. H owever, most of these investigations have been carried out on worms, rodents and drosophila on the basis that not only are they easily accessible but also because certain studies suggest that worms, yeast and people have common genes for aging (Callaway). In 2008, scientists from Eovtos Lorand University, Hungary, conducted a research on nematodes, Caenorhabditis elegans, that were deficient

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