Concept

Senescence

Summary
Senescence (sɪˈnɛsəns) or biological aging is the gradual deterioration of functional characteristics in living organisms. The word senescence can refer to either cellular senescence or to senescence of the whole organism. Organismal senescence involves an increase in death rates and/or a decrease in fecundity with increasing age, at least in the latter part of an organism's life cycle. Senescence is the inevitable fate of almost all multicellular organisms with germ-soma separation, but it can be delayed. The 1934 discovery that calorie restriction can extend lifespans by 50% in rats, the existence of species having negligible senescence, and the existence of potentially immortal organisms such as members of the genus Hydra have motivated research into delaying senescence and thus age-related diseases. Rare human mutations can cause accelerated aging diseases. Environmental factors may affect aging – for example, overexposure to ultraviolet radiation accelerates skin aging. Differe
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