Is aging irreversible?

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Aging is a process associated with molecular, cellular and systemic degeneration and decline of functions. Although modern medicine has largely considered aging a unidirectional process that can at best be slowed, ancient scriptures tell stories of immortality and longevity by various means. Naturally, in today’s world, mythology has it’s own place in the temples of our beliefs and in moralistic epics to narrate to our children. What are some of the myths and stories of the past that you know about longevity and immortality? Accounts of breath control and long life; fasting and longevity; “indomitable” people whose wounds always heal; elixirs/fountains of youth; cell grafting; spells…. Were they entirely Fiction? Or is there any possibility of anecdotal truth?

In a recent (March 2015) report in the journal Science, A. Ocampo and J. Belmonte suggest that “aging is a malleable process that can be altered by manipulating conserved biological pathways…. a decline of stem cell function with age due to intrinsic factors (such as SIRT7) and extrinsic factors (such as chronic inflammation and circulatory factors) could potentially be reverted, indicating that rejuvenation strategies may one day slow or even turn back the aging clock.” (You can read the whole article here).

This week, October 1-7, we will tackle mythology, belief, anecdotes on aging and longevity and relate them with modern day scientific evidence. Enjoy the ride!

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