Is aging a disease? Or is it just the natural evolution of every human being? For how long can we extend human life? Is there a biological ceiling we will never be able to cross?
These questions have fascinated mankind since the dawn of time. Some dreamt of a Fountain of Youth whose waters could render a person immortal. Others relied on incantations, prayers or to protect them from the effects of aging. But one thing remained consistent: people feared getting older. It was a sign of degradation and ultimately of death. But what exactly is aging from a biological perspective? Is it nothing more than a loss of functions? A programmed senescence?
Our understanding of aging has changed dramatically because of a series of major discoveries that we will unveil in today’s episode… Those moments were nothing short of revolutionary for today’s modern medicine and science. They not only helped us better understand why we age, but they also opened the door to a new perspective: maybe, just maybe, we will one day be able to cure aging. Crazy, right? To help us better understand what is science and what is science fiction, we reached out to a specialist in this field.
What you will learn in this episode:
Gerontology: the scientific study of old age, the process of ageing, and the particular problems of old people. It deals with the social, mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical needs of aging individuals.
Geriatrics: the branch of medicine or social science dealing with the health and care of old people. It looks at the medical care surrounding aging individuals.
Stress resilience: the ability to recognize and acknowledge that a situation has become difficult or painful and choose a response that leads to growth. Our cells combine aging mechanisms in various ways. Depending on this combination, they can be more or less resistant to degradation or stress.
Immunotherapy: the prevention or treatment of disease with substances that stimulate the immune response.
1983 - a scientist named Michael Klass identified a genetic pathway that allowed worms to live longer. This discovery marked the beginning of a new era in aging research. Since then, scientists have been able to identify what they call “the 9 hallmarks of aging”. Among them are things like telomere attrition, cellular senescence or mitochondrial dysfunction.
In the 2000s - scientists started identifying cancer hallmarks, a range of cellular and molecular mechanisms that triggered the disease.
Science for Care is a podcast by HealthTech for Care, a non profit organization designed to support and promote access to care for all. If you enjoy our show, please mention it to your friends, family and co-workers, and leave ratings and reviews on your favorite listening platform.
Production: MedShake Studio