How much do genetic programs contribute to degenerative aging? If they contribute greatly, then fighting aging would be a matter of understanding and changing these programs - but the job is much harder if degeneration predominantly results from the accumulation of random damage. Here, Medical News Today reports on another nail in the coffin of programmed aging theories: "One long-standing observation concerning the physiological decline that accompanies aging is its variability - some people age better than others. However, there has thus far been little or no evidence supporting the existence of similar [variability] at the level of gene expression. ... Using a wide range of expression data from both humans and rats, the researchers showed that levels of gene expression become more variable with age. Furthermore, they found that the tendency toward increased variation is not restricted to a specific set of genes, implying that increased [variability] is the outcome of random processes such as genetic mutation."