Human Genetic Diseases
That Mimic the Aging
The search for genes that might be involved in the human aging process—human senescence—was given a major push forward with the publication, in 1978, of a landmark study by George Martin entitled “Genetic Syndromes in Man with Potential Relevance to the Pathobiology of Aging." His analysis of the existing medical and scientific literature had suggested that as many as 7000 human genes might be involved in the degenerative processes associated with aging, but he concluded that probably no more than seventy, and perhaps as few as seven, of these genes controlled processes in the body that have a major impact on senescence. He excluded from consideration genes encoding specific diseases that might cause death either early or late in life; although death is clearly the endpoint of senescence, Martin was more interested in the process of senescence, as defined by studies in both animals and humans.*____________________
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Publication information: Book title: A Means to an End: The Biological Basis of Aging and Death. Contributors: William R. Clark - Author. Publisher: Oxford University Press. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 2002. Page number: 73.
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