SAGE KE Bulletin Board

Impetus for Studying Aging?

21 September 2002

Steven N. Austad

I came to be interested in the biology of aging from an interest in evolution and a chance observation of exceptionally rapid aging in the animals I was studying (opossums). What intrigued me was evolutionary the paradox "Why do biological organisms, which are capable of exquisite self repair, gradually wear out." This fundamental paradox kept me interested in the discipline of aaging until later -- much later -- when I developed an interest in human aging. I think one thing that distinguishes biologists from others in allied disciplines of gerontology (medical, social, demographic, psychological, etc.) is that they have no particular interest in the elderly. It is the challenging puzzle which defines aging's appeal.

Science of Aging Knowledge Environment. ISSN 1539-6150