of systems failure known as reliability theory (Barlow and Proshan, 1975; Barlow et al., 1965; Gavrilov, 1978; Gavrilov and Gavrilova, 1991, 2001, 2003a, 2004a, 2005; Gavrilov et al., 1978).

Reliability theory was historically developed to describe failure and aging of complex electronic (military) equipment, but the theory itself is a very general theory based on mathematics (probability theory) and systems approach (Barlow and Proschan, 1975; Barlow et al., 1965). It may therefore be useful to describe and understand the aging and failure of biological systems too. Reliability theory may be useful in several ways: first, by providing a kind of scientific language (definitions and cross-cutting principles), which helps to create a logical framework for organizing numerous and diverse observations on aging into a coherent picture. Second, it helps researchers to develop an intuition and an understanding of the main principles of the aging process through consideration of simple mathematical models, having some features of a real world. Third, reliability theory is useful for generating and testing specific predictions, as well as deeper analyses of already collected data. The purpose of this chapter is to review the theoretical reliability models and approaches, which help to understand the mechanisms and dynamics of systems failure in aging.

How to Stay Young

How to Stay Young

For centuries, ever since the legendary Ponce de Leon went searching for the elusive Fountain of Youth, people have been looking for ways to slow down the aging process. Medical science has made great strides in keeping people alive longer by preventing and curing disease, and helping people to live healthier lives. Average life expectancy keeps increasing, and most of us can look forward to the chance to live much longer lives than our ancestors.

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