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This theory was born from the surge of technological breakthroughs in genetics and genetic engineering.

First discovered by a group of scientists at the Geron Corporation in Menlo Park, California, telomeres are sequences of nucleic acids extending from the ends of chromosomes. Telomeres act to maintain the integrity of our chromosomes. Every time our cells divide telomeres are shortened, leading to cellular damage and cellular death associated with aging. From the time of conception to sexual maturation, our bodies are undergoing a system of orderliness. We are as Dr. Leonard Hayflick states, "Directing most of our energies to fulfilling a genetically determined plan for the orderly production and arrangement of an enormous number and variety of molecules." After sexual maturation however these same energies start to diminish en efficiency. Disorder occurs in molecules in turn causing other molecules to produce errors and so on. These chaotic changes in our cells, tissues and organs is what causes aging. Disorderliness varies from individual and this may be the reason why our tissues and organs deteriorate at different rates. Perhaps one of the oldest theories of aging is called the rate of living theory. This theory states that people (and other creatures) have a finite number of breaths, heartbeats or other measures. In ancient times, people believed that just as a machine will begin to deteriorate after a certain number of uses, the human body deteriorates in direct proportion to its use. This theory holds that Mutations are those inheritable changes that occur in the cellular DNA. If there is extensive damage to DNA and it is not repaired, then there will probably be an alteration in a genetic sequence. There has been some suggestion related to background radiation of various types. Calorie restriction or energy restriction is a theory proposed by respected gerontologist, Dr. Roy Walford of the UCLA Medical School. After years of animal experiments and research on longevity, Dr. Walford has developed a high nutrient low-calorie diet demonstrating that "under nutrition with malnutrition" can dramatically retard the functional, if not the chronological aging process. An individual on this program would lose weight gradually until a point of metabolic efficiency was reached for maximum health and life span. Walford stresses the importance of not only the high-low diet but also moderate vitamin and mineral supplements coupled with regular exercise The immune system is the most important line of defense against foreign substances that enter the body. With age the system's ability to produce necessary antibodies that fight disease declines, as does its ability to distinguish between antibodies and proteins. In a sense the immune system becomes self-destructive and reacts against itself. Examples of autoimmune disease are lupus, scleroderma and adultonset diabetes. The Cross-Linking Theory of Aging is also referred to as the Glycosylation Theory of Aging. In this theory it is the binding of glucose (simple sugars) to protein, (a process that occurs under the presence of oxygen) that causes various problems. Once this binding has occurred the protein becomes impaired and is unable to perform as efficiently. Living a longer life is going to lead to the increased possibility of oxygen meeting glucose and protein and known cross-linking disorders include senile cataract and the appearance of tough, leathery and yellow skin.

Like the error-and-repairs theory the redundant-DNA theory blames errors accumulating in genes for age changes. But as these errors accumulate this theory also blames reserve genetic sequences of identical DNA that take over until the system is worn out. Dr. Zhores Medvedev of the National Institute of Medical Research in London proposed that different species life spans may be a function of the degree of these repeated gene sequences. In 1963 Dr. Leslie Orgel of the Salk Institute suggested that because the "machinery for making protein in cells is so essential, an error in that machinery could be catastrophic." The production of proteins and the reproduction of DNA sometimes is not carried out with accuracy. The body's DNA is so vital that natural repair processes kick in when an error is made. But the system is incapable of making perfect repairs on these molecules every time, therefore the accumulation of these flawed molecules can cause diseases and other age changes to occur. If DNA repair processes did not exist, scientists estimate that enough damage would accumulate in cells in one year to make them nonfunctional. The mitochondria are the power producing organelles found in every cell of every organ. Their primary job is to create Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) and they do so in the various energy cycles that involve nutrients such as Acetyl-LCarnitine, CoQ10 (Idebenone), NADH and some B vitamins etc. ATP is literally the life giving chemical because every movement, thought and action we make is generated from it. Yet very little ATP can be stored in the body.

Chemically speaking, under normal conditions the mitochondria are fiery furnaces and subject themselves to a lot of free radical damage (see the Free Radical Theory of Aging). They also lack most of the defenses found in other parts of the body, so as we age the mitochondria become less efficient, fewer in number and larger. Accordingly, ATP production declines. "The thymus is the master gland of the immune systems," says Dr. Alan Goldstein, chairman of the biochemistry department at George Washington University. The size of this gland reduces from 200 to 250 grams at birth and then shrinks to around three grams by age 60. Scientists are investigating whether the disappearance of the thymus contributes to the aging process by weakening the body's immune system. Studies have shown that thymic factors are helpful in restoring the immune systems of children born without them as well as rejuvenating the poorly functioning immune systems of the elderly. Thymic hormones may also play a role in stimulating and controlling the production of neurotransmitters and brain and endocrine system hormones which means they may be the pacemakers of aging itself, as well as key regulators responsible for immunity. Unlike other cells brain cells or neurons do not replicate. We are born with roughly 12 billion of them and over a life time about 10 percent perish. Dr. Donner Denckle, an endocrinologist formerly at Harvard University, was convinced that the "death hormone" or DECO (decreasing oxygen consumption hormone) released by the pituitary glands of rats their immune systems revitalized, the rate of cross-linking in cells reduced and cardiovascular function was restored to the levels of youth. Denckle speculated that as we age the pituitary begins to release DECO which inhibits the ability of cells to use thyroxine, a hormone produced by the thyroid-governing basal metabolism, the rate at which cells convert food to energy. The metabolic rate bring on and accelerate the process of aging The Hayflick Limit Theory of Aging (so called after its discoverer Dr. Leonard Hayflick) suggests that the human cell is limited in the number of times it can divide. Part of this theory may be affected by cell waste accumulation (which is described in the Membrane Theory of Aging).

Working with Dr. Moorehead in 1961, Dr. Hayflick theorized that the human cells ability to divide is limited to approximately 50-times, after which they simply stop dividing (and hence die). In the course of their life spans cells produce more waste than they can properly eliminate. This waste can include various toxins which when accumulated to a certain level, can interfere with normal cell function, ultimately killing the cell. Free radicals are atoms with unpaired electrons. According to the free radical theory, radicals damage cells in an organism, causing aging. Mitochondria, regions of the cell that manufacture chemical energy, produce free radicals and are the primary sites for free radical damage. By eliminating free radicals from cells through genetic means and dietary restriction, laboratories have extended the maximum age of laboratory animals. The administration of antioxidants, which eliminate radicals, to laboratory animals fails to increase maximum lifespan. Some scientists regard this as a Planned Obsolescence Theory because it focuses upon the encoded programming within our DNA. Our DNA is the blue-print of individual life obtained from our parents. It means we are born with a unique code and a predetermined tendency to certain types of physical and mental functioning that regulate the rate at which we age.

But this type of genetic clock can be greatly influenced with regard to its rate of timing. For example, DNA is easily oxidized and this damage can be accumulated from diet, lifestyle, toxins, pollution, radiation and other outside influences. Thus, we each have the ability to accelerate DNA damage or slow it down. First proposed by Professor Vladimir Dilman and Ward Dean MD, this theory elaborates on wear and tear by focusing on the neuroendocrine system. This system is a complicated network of biochemicals that govern the release of hormones which are altered by the walnut sized gland called the hypothalamus located in the brain.

The hypothalamus controls various chain-reactions to instruct other organs and glands to release their hormones etc. The hypothalamus also responds to the body hormone levels as a guide to the overall hormonal activity. But as we grow older the hypothalamus loses it precision regulatory ability and the receptors which uptake individual hormones become less sensitive to them. Accordingly, as we age the secretion of many hormones declines and their effectiveness (compared unit to unit) is also reduced due to the receptors down-grading. Dr. August Weismann, a German biologist, first introduced this theory in 1882. He believed that the body and its cells were damaged by overuse and abuse. The organs, liver, stomach, kidneys, skin and so on are worn down by toxins in our diet and in the environment; by the excessive consumption of fat, sugar, caffeine, alcohol and nicotine; by the ultra-violet rays of the sun and by the many other physical and emotional stresses to which we subject our bodies. Wear and tear is not confined to our organs, however; it also takes place on the cellular level.