Chapter 1

I. Science
The biology of our age: the biology of ageing, theories of ageing
Reductionist approaches:
The human organism: molecules, organelles (mitochondria), cells, tissues, organs, energetics, metabolism, physiology
Energetics and metabolism

The human body in numbers The living extracellular matrix (ECM)

Stem cells: The exact definition of stem cell is sometimes cloudy, but we do know 2 generally accepted criteria: stem cells are able to renew themselves and could differentiate into other type of cells. First, they are unspecialized, mitotic cells that renew themselves for any (i.e. long) periods through series of cell divisions, which result in similar unspecialized stem cells. This is the so called and overstated "immortality" characteristics. The other side of the stem cell coin is that under certain physiologic or experimental conditions (know it's vague a bit), they can be induced to become differentiated cells with special functions such as the contractile cells of the striatal muscle or the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas. So stem cells are those cells, which give rise to an identical, undifferentiated, mitotic stem cell and a more specialised cell with another phenotype through an asymmetric cell division. The resulting progenitor cells mature into functional, specialised cells of the organism. What kind of cells they could be, is partly the function of the developmental potential of the cells and the local environment, where these cells anchor.

growth factors:

the results from developmental biology Molecular, organellar and cellular turnover Holistic approaches:
Systems biology


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