Biological age

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The biological age of a individual human being is often clinically different from the characteristics expected of an individual of that chronological age. Indeed whole organ or organ systems in an individual might have differing biological ages. These biological ages differences might be (with some extreme examples indicated)

  • Genetic
  • Environmental
    • Smoking The increasing dissociation between facial appearance (skin winkling) and biological facial appearance as expected for the same chronological age is an excellent example of how chronic environmental exposure to an agent that is a mutagen and causes increased protein cross linking. [1] [2][3][4][5]

Possible mechanisms include:

  • Chemical alteration of the DNA, eg methylation with some selection where this is allowed
    • eg if methylation was allowed on miRNA DNA codes but not on pre-mRNA DNA codes
  • Counting DNA repairs.
    • DNA repair in man is not always perfect, indeed this is a cause of malignant transformation due information introduced at the site of the repair rarely[6]
  • Telomere shortening
  • Chemical alterations in protein
  • Mitochondrial DNA damage[8]

References