You, what will happen to you, and what you can do about what will happen to you.
Here it is! I call this the “Organized Lifespan-terms Diagram of You” (OLDY) network, with subtitle: “you, what will happen to you, and what you can do about what will happen to you”. Though it doesn’t look like much (other than a big hairball), this is a pretty serious network. It was generated by text-mining the titles of over 14,000 review articles from PubMed published in the last five years on aging, and finding the most represented words and their co-occurrences (see footnote below).
While going through hundreds of terms and connections here, I realized the interpretation was pretty simple: there are parts of you (your brain, cognition, skin, muscles, cells, DNA, etc), there are things that may happen to you as you age (osteoporosis, sarcopenia, neurodegeneration, etc), and there are things you can do about the things that will happen to you as you age (that’s what this website aims to shed light on). Here is the summary of the network:
Things that will happen, from De-Di-Dy to Cu-Te-Co.
Things that will happen to you: the De’s, Di’s and Dy… dementia, degeneration, decline, disease, diabetes, dysfunction. Seems like most terms showing up in OLDY had a ‘de-di-dy’ tendency. Add to that list terms like inflammation, senescence, and cancer, and you will start to paint a very depressing picture of things (depression also showed up there actually). Many things can go wrong as we age, but the good news is science is paving new ground to cure, treat, or cope with these problems (should we call that the Cu-Te-Co?).
As for things you can do about the things that will happen to you: terms like exercise, drugs, nutrition, interventions, and therapeutics were closely connected to all the more negative sounding ones, and it’s not without reason. Our understanding of the biology of aging is moving fast. Unfortunately though, there is a lot on the web about purported anti-aging strategies. So on this blog I try to give some sound advice from a scientist’s perspective. Through infrequent updates in blogs and data analyses, I’ll cover scientific understanding of aging, and the top candidates for living long healthy lives. At the moment, the terms showing up in OLDY were pretty much covering the important categories, and I’ll pick those apart through posts.
Aging is beautiful.
To end off, I’ll point out that I named this website ‘aging is beautiful’ so that we don’t forget that fact, above all else. Life is a journey, and remembering that aging is beautiful dignifies our elders, prepares us for the incredible passage, and reminds us to enjoy everything around us. The goal is to be healthy as we age, and scientific knowledge is getting in place to have us achieve that. Now what’s left is to bring our science to our health.
Footnote: And here is how this network was made: All data collection and analysis was done using the R statistical environment (with RStudio), and visualization was done in Gephi. I first queried pubmed for all review articles containing the word “aging” (or “ageing”), published in about the last 5 years (2011 to early 2016). This was done using the RISmed package in R. Once the data was collected (abstracts, titles, authors, year of publication, for the over 14000 review articles), it was formatted in R and text mined using the pubmed.mineR package. The article titles only were text mined in order to make the network. For the network, the top 250 most connected terms were used for subsequent analysis, and were converted using the igraph and rgexf packages in R into a format that the stand-alone Gephi software could work with for visualization. From there, the data was categorized into “you” (grey), “what will happen to you” (orange), and “what you can do about what will happen to you” (blue), and the words that didn’t fit in those categories (such as ‘animal,’ ‘does,’ ‘focus,’ ‘review,’ ‘update’) were removed from the visualization. The resulting network is termed “Organized Lifespan-terms Diagram of You” just for fun.