Jan Vijg‘s book about the role of DNA damage and somatic mutation in the aging process, Aging of the Genome: The Dual Role of DNA in Life and Death, has been reviewed in Nature:

There is no shortage of theories of ageing. Confronted by the terrifying realization of mortality, human ingenuity has created an interesting array of explanations, including toxins produced by gut bacteria (curable by eating yoghurt) and reduced secretions from the testicles (curable by transplants of testicular tissue from monkeys). There is now general agreement that ageing is caused by the accumulation of damage. Key issues are the exact types of damage responsible for functional impairment and death, and the processes that generate this damage and protect against it. Jan Vijg’s excellent book Aging of the Genome makes no concession of equal space for the many candidates subject to current scrutiny. Rather, it critically examines the case for one — somatic mutation.

The reviewer comments that while the text is quite scholarly, it should still be of interest to the nonspecialist reader, but I can’t confirm or deny that until after I receive my copy. I know that Jan is a fantastic scientist and a very clear thinker, so I’m looking forward to it.

(For a description of some of Jan Vijg’s recent experimental work, see our earlier article Genomic instability and transcriptional noise.)