The process of aging has engaged the attention of people from time immemorial. People in the past generally did not include as a scholastic subject of inquiry. It was so obvious a facet of life that in the past people generally accepted it as a reality with which they have to cope up with. However, the desire to prolong life was very popular and a marketable thing, many charlatans and quakes occupied the field and various potions for prolonging life appeared in the market. Initially serious scientists did not venture to study the phenomenon for fear they will be mistaken to be a pseudo scholar. With the microscopic study of cell and genetics growing as an important subject aided by technology, aging also came to be studied. The role of genes in aging has been a forgone conclusion. But the insight into the importance of environment- interface in shedding light on development is one of the major thrust areas of Gottlieb's study. The present study is an examination of his contribution to the process aging.
Aging is the major hurdle to the quality of human life in affluent communities. The study of senescence can prolong human life, preserve health, prevent age related diseases and even might cure aging. Aging is assuming the dimension of a worldwide social and economic problem. However, some scientists feel this area should get more priority and funding (Miller, 2005). The study of senescence, while it is part of the global quest to address this problem facing humanity, is also a dream of achieving the experience of an infinite universe.
What is aging
Aging came under the purview of scientific enquiry only in the early part of the present century.
We are all aware of aging in humans from our earliest years, through normal, daily contacts with family members, neighbors, and others who have reached an advanced age. Perhaps because aging seems such an intuitively obvious phenomenon, it was quite late in becoming an object of formal study (Clark, 2002, p. 3)
However there has been, over the centuries, an ardent attempt to unearth the magic elixir that would prolong life or even confer immortality. The process of aging was so obviously present in the conscious mind that no one thought it worth the trouble to go in depth to study what aging is.
Aging has many external visible signs, as well as the changes in the mind and in the molecular level. The external changes also psychologically impact the person as he or she becomes aware that time is approaching for saying adieu. There are also degenerative changes associated with age, which are the results of alterations in the cardiovascular system.
Humans also are under higher risk from external sources due to the slow collapse of the autoimmune system of the body. The reproductive capacity also diminishes along with aging and in the female this process sets in faster than in the male.
In fact there are a spectrum of changes associated with old age but there is no uniform pattern of occurrence for all humans nor is there any fixed time when aging sets in all people. Some people are old at forty but there are septuagenarians who are fit as a fiddle. In some, mental faculties are impaired with age while bodies remain