Aging has long since been ascribed to the gradual accumulation of DNA mutations in the genome of somatic cells. However, it is only recently that the necessary sophisticated technology has been developed to begin testing this theory and its consequences. Vijg critically reviews the concept of genomic instability as a possible universal cause of aging in the context of a new, holistic understanding of genome functioning in complex organisms resulting from recent advances in functional genomics and systems biology. It provides an up-to-date synthesis of current research, as well as a look ahead to the design of strategies to retard or reverse the deleterious effects of aging. This is particularly important in a time when we are urgently trying to unravel the genetic component of aging-related diseases. Moreover, there is a growing public recognition of the imperative of understanding more about the underlying biology of aging, driven by continuing demographic change.
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Jan Vijg is Professor at the Buck Institute for Age Research in Novato, California, USA.
'The book represents a substantial effort and documents the broad and deep insight that Vijg has into the field of aging. It should greatly stimulate interest and the entry of promising new scientists into the field and will help heighten the profile and importance of aging research in general.' - Nature Genetics 'This is a work of real scholarship, a critical account of a huge swathe of work The sharp focus on one type of damage, the excellent writing style and the well argued, personal perspective of the author contrive to keep the reader going.' - Nature
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