Practical Detection of Biological Age: Why It Is not a Trivial Task
The determination of the “biological age” is one the most interesting problems in the biology of aging. The improvement of the biomarkers of aging is a very important problem. The necessity to use synthetic (i.e. holistic), rather than analytic (i.e. specific) measurements strongly contributes to a deeply complicated relationship between conventional biomedicine and a plethora of anti-aging interventions which are inferred from experimental studies of animals and observational studies of humans. Intrinsically holistic “omics” profiles, however, are subject to the “curse of dimensionality”, discussed in this chapter. It is expected that an increase in the reliability of biomarkers of aging would be achieved by concerted efforts of biostatisticians, who would successfully combine data-driven and knowledge-based approaches, and the biologists who would be instrumental in critically evaluating insights generated in silico and ensure a discernible biological rationale for the metrics of biological age.
KeywordsBiological age Biomarkers Curse of dimensionality Omics Holistic measures
AB is grateful for great discussions of biomarker concepts with many colleagues, with most important thoughtful contributions being made by Prof. Eytan Domany (Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel) and Prof. Alessandro Giuliani (Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Italy). AB and TC acknowledge an important contribution of Dr. Ganiraju Manyam (The UT MD Anderson Cancer, USA) who developed an initial pipeline for distance analysis.
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