Throughout our life, damages may accumulate in our genome. This can be caused e.g. by free radicals, by-products of our regular metabolism. They can destroy cell components and, thus, lead to malfunctions or defective cell divisions.
The accumulation of DNA damages is cause and consequence of aging at the same time, linked to the decreasing ability of organisms to repair biological molecules or to renew injured or defective tissues and organs. However, the molecular details of how this accumulation of DNA damages occurs, remains unclear so far and is in the focus of many research institutes all over the world.