Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Somatic Mutation Theory Of Aging

Intracellular, stochastic model of aging in which the major premise is that mutations to stem cell DNA alter genetic information and decrease cellular efficiency to a subvital level. The proposal that aging is due to an accumulation of mutations in somatic cells was first made in 1959 by American physicist Leo Szilard; aka the random hits theory of aging.

Cf. chromosome theory of cancer.

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