(From PhysOrg.com). What does DNA damage and change in DNA repair mechanisms contribute to aging? There are several camps in this debate; understandably, progeria researchers feel that it is an important factor: "These progeroid mice, even though they do not live very long, have remarkably similar characteristics to normal old mice, from their physical symptoms, to their metabolic and hormonal changes and pathology, right down to the level of similar changes in gene expression. ... it shows how important it is to repair damage that is constantly inflicted upon our genes, even through the simple act of breathing." Other camps argue that progeria is a grand exaggeration of one facet of "normal" aging, which may or may not contribute significantly to degeneration in most people. Anti-aging engineers would argue that any change is damage - we should start working on a fix now, rather than wait to fully understand how harmful this DNA damage is.