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Why do our bodies age? - Monica Menesini

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Human bodies aren’t built for extreme aging: our capacity is set at about 90 years. But what does aging really mean, and how does it counteract the body’s efforts to stay alive? Monica Menesini details the nine physiological traits that play a central role in aging.

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TED-Ed Animation lessons feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed Animation? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

  • Educator Monica Menesini
  • Script Editor Emma Bryce
  • Director Veronica Wallenberg
  • Animator Sanny Vestmalm, Johan Sonestedt
  • Narrator Pen-Pen Chen

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Additional Resources for you to Explore
Although aging is a concept difficult to define, scientists have identified nine common denominators (hallmarks of aging) involved in this process. You can find the review article here.

While it is quite easy to understand if a person is young or old, how do we identify an old cell? Watch this video about yeast, a unicellular organism which is giving researchers important information about aging, and discover the world of a single cell organism.

Is an antiaging diet really possible? Is it true that some foods fight wrinkles? And how can we prevent aging? The National Institute on Aging has some tips based on scientific evidence.

The Institute of Healthy Aging in London is using the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans (a nematode) to find out how genetic changes affect aging. They have found out that some genetic mutations allow a life up to ten  times longer than that of wild-type worms. By understanding aging in a simple animal like C. elegans, we hope to begin to unravel the mystery of human aging, and the wide range of diseases that it causes, from cardiovascular disease and Type II diabetes, to Alzheimer's and cancer.

Are we ready to live longer? What does it mean to 'age well' now and in the future? Find out by enrolling in this Coursera MOOC
Medicine has triumphed in modern times, transforming the dangers of childbirth, injury, and disease from harrowing to manageable. But, when it comes to the inescapable realities of aging and death, what medicine can do often runs counter to what it should. In his book Being Mortal, Atul Gawande, a practicing surgeon, examines the challenges of making the lives of elderly people as rich and full as possible under the circumstances.

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About TED-Ed Animations

TED-Ed Animation lessons feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed Animation? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

  • Educator Monica Menesini
  • Script Editor Emma Bryce
  • Director Veronica Wallenberg
  • Animator Sanny Vestmalm, Johan Sonestedt
  • Narrator Pen-Pen Chen

Share

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