New technologies continue to be developed for biomedical research, and application of these methods to aging-related problems will be an important force for advancing our understanding of the aging process. High-throughput proteomic (see Chapter 9 on proteomics) and metabolomic methods, in particular, offer the opportunity to dissect age-associated changes that go beyond mRNA. Protein microarrays, for example, may allow for genome-scale determination of protein levels (rather than mRNA) as a function of age and aging rate. Other high-throughput methods can detect macromolecular damage and modifications, such as glycation, that might play an important role in cellular aging (Schoneich, 2003). A particularly exciting prospect is the development of a noninvasive test for mammalian aging rate (perhaps serum based) that relies on protein or metabolite markers to determine whether a particular intervention alters aging in individual animals or people. The value of such a diagnostic method, both for disease treatment and aging research, would be immense.
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