Live long and prosper

Short-circuiting the process of ageing

Featured in

  • Published 20200427
  • ISBN: 9781922268761
  • Extent: 264pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm), eBook

THE BIOLOGICAL BASIS of ageing can be traced to its beginning four billion years ago in a gene circuit in the first life forms that provided a survival advantage by turning off cellular reproduction while DNA was being repaired. One gene turns off reproduction; another makes a protein that turns off the first gene when it is safe to reproduce. When DNA breaks, the protein made by the second gene leaves to repair the DNA. As a result, the first gene is turned on to halt reproduction until that repair is complete.

The fossil record in our genes goes a long way to proving that every living thing that shares this planet with us still carries this ancient genetic survival circuit, in more or less the same basic form. It is there in every plant. It is there in every fungus. It is there in every animal.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Share article

About the author

David Sinclair

David Sinclair is a professor of genetics, Harvard Medical School, co-joint professor at the University of New South Wales and author of New York...

More from this edition

Bionic enhancements queue

PoetryBionic enhancements queue Every time I go through airport security now the queue is longer. I stow everything I can decently remove – belt, boots, earrings, finger...

How the sky stays above us

PoetryI am changing now the congregation of years not age so much as a ripening view and I have started speaking to trees one big gum surely hundreds of decades I stop...

Stay up to date with the latest, news, articles and special offers from Griffith Review.