In the earlier post with the terrible title of What is the philosophy of biological aging research/biogerontology/translational geroscience/? Problems I listed the following as Problem #1:
What is a good working definition of biological aging, that is formally correct, scalable, yet flexible enough to incorporate new knowledge and can be used to design interventions to counteract it?
In what follows I propose such a definition and it sounds like this:
Biological aging is agings underneath, the result of multiple, diverse, separate but malleable processes, eventually compromising normal functions of the organism at different rates and at all levels.The definition of biological aging(s) proposed in this study
This definition of biological aging is a formally correct recursive definition, that is non-circular, consisting of a couple of bases cases serving to explain the more composite processes, being able to scale up at all levels. This definition is flexible enough to include all the currently proposed hallmark processes, yet it is open to incorporate yet unknown processes. By directly including an element (‘at different rates’) capturing the deeply temporal, longitudinal nature of biological aging, and an unambiguous temporal directionality pointing towards complete collapse of an individual living organism/system amounting to death at the limit (at all levels’, ’eventually’), this definition at the same time gives us hope in terms of the malleability of the base processes and suggests a temporally consecutive (longitudinal), sliding window protocol of interventions able to counteract, slow down, stop and potentially reverse all these processes via a ‘divide and conquer’ approach.
Also this definition is deeply appreciative and timely concerning the current new paradigm of aging research/biogerontologytranslational geroscience as it takes the emerging consensus hallmark framework within the field and turns it into an actual definition, not just a list, offering clues on how to develop this framework further.
In part 2 I will build up the actual argument leading to this definition proposal. Stay tuned!