Molecular and Cellular Biology of AgingOut of Stock
Our understanding of how and why biological organisms age has undergone a scientific revolution, spanning
two or more decades, that has changed the way we view aging and conduct basic aging research. Nonetheless,
a comprehensive overview of the basic molecular and cellular processes that underlie aging is currently
lacking. This book intends to fill this void by providing detailed overviews of aging processes at the cellular
and molecular levels across multiple organisms, from microbes to humans. We will explore how basic aging
processes relate to age-related disease, how aging and longevity are subject to both gene-gene and gene-environment
interactions, and how our greatly increased insight into these relationships can help us to design
rational strategies for intervention.
A key aspect of our approach to generating a comprehensive textbook on the cellular and molecular
biology of aging is to compare aging at these levels across multiple forms of life. It is now clear that the vast
majority of living organisms display some aspects of aging, many (but not all) of which appear to be conserved
throughout evolution. This perspective is integrated into each chapter and is specifically addressed in Part 2.
Throughout the book, we emphasize comparative aspects of aging and, where possible, delineate those molecular
and cellular mechanisms that appear to be conserved from those that are unique to a particular species
or animal group. We refrain as much as possible from speculation, but discuss controversies and major gaps in
our knowledge. This is important in a young field of research where some inconsistencies are apparent in the
primary literature. Nonetheless, many chapters contain brief descriptions of popular theories of aging, and so
some speculation is unavoidable. We note that the demography of aging is not a major component, and, while
the book focuses on the aging-disease relationship, it is not a text on geriatric medicine or the physiology of
aging. Likewise, while there are important economic, ethical, and environmental considerations that arise when
reflecting on interventions into aging, a thorough discussion of these issues is beyond the scope of this book.
There are, of course, excellent books available in all these areas. They generally lack in-depth discussions of
cellular and molecular processes relevant to aging, which is the gap this textbook intends to fill.
Finally, while not neglecting necessary details, this book focuses on providing insights from basic principles
and common characteristics of aging across species. We firmly believe that deep insight and understanding
of solid principles are essential for ultimately developing interventions that might enable us to view aging as
we now view disease—that is, as a condition amenable to treatment.