• Modelling the molecular mechanisms of ageing

      Mc Auley, Mark T.; Martinez Guimera, Alvaro; Hodgson, David; McDonald, Neil; Mooney, Kathleen M.; Morgan, Amy; Proctor, Carole; University of Chester; Edgehill University; Newcastle University (Portland Press, 2017-02-23)
      The ageing process is driven at the cellular level by random molecular damage which slowly accumulates with age. Although cells possess mechanisms to repair or remove damage, they are not 100% efficient and their efficiency declines with age. There are many molecular mechanisms involved and exogenous factors such as stress also contribute to the ageing process. The complexity of the ageing process has stimulated the use of computational modelling in order to increase our understanding of the system, test hypotheses and make testable predictions. As many different mechanisms are involved, a wide range of models have been developed. This paper gives an overview of the types of models that have been developed, the range of tools used, modelling standards, and discusses many specific examples of models which have been grouped according to the main mechanisms that they address. We conclude by discussing the opportunities and challenges for future modelling in this field.
    • Systems Based Mechanisms of Aging

      Proctor, Carole; Morgan, Amy; Mc Auley, Mark; Newcastle University; University of Chester
      The last number of decades have witnessed an unrelenting global rise in the number of older people. This demographic shift is laudable; however, many older people are burdened by poor health. The main reason so many older people have their healthspan compromised is due to the complex biology which underpins ageing and the diseases which are associated with this intriguing phenomenon. Fortunately, however, in recent years there has been a paradigm shift within biological research which has seen the emergence of systems biology. In contrast to a reductionist approach which was commonplace in biological research for many years, systems biology seeks to understand biological systems in an integrated manner. Investigating ageing and age related disease in this way is becoming increasingly effective. In this article we discuss the methods which underpin systems and provide examples of their application to biogerontology research.