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Programmed Theories of Aging

The process of aging is a subject matter of intense interest to the public, to health professionals, and to scientists in the fields of gerontology and life-span human development. Over the past century, more than 300 different theories of aging have been proposed. To advance the understanding of any biological process, scientists seek to construct useful conceptual frameworks that enable future observations to be tested for compatibility, so that confidence in predictions can be gained. Two such conceptual frameworks used to portray the process of aging are (a) the programmed theory of aging and (b) the nonprogrammed theory of aging. Both frameworks see organismal aging as a biological process characterized by the progressive accumulation of damage leading to physiological decline, which in turn culminates in ...

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