Nature 408, 233-238 (9 November 2000) | doi:10.1038/35041682

Why do we age?

Thomas B. L. Kirkwood1 & Steven N. Austad2


The evolutionary theory of ageing explains why ageing occurs, giving valuable insight into the mechanisms underlying the complex cellular and molecular changes that contribute to senescence. Such understanding also helps to clarify how the genome shapes the ageing process, thereby aiding the study of the genetic factors that influence longevity and age-associated diseases.

  1. Department of Gerontology, University of Newcastle, Institute for the Health of the Elderly, Newcastle General Hospital, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE4 6BE, UK
  2. Department of Biological Sciences, University of Idaho , Moscow, Idaho 83844-3051, USA