Background: The survival of all biological systems depends on a series of complex
pathways of maintenance and repair systems, which are the crucial components of the homeodynamic
space of an individual. A progressive failure of maintenance and the consequent shrinkage of the
homeodynamic space are the fundamental basis of ageing, age-related diseases and eventual death.
Mechanisms: Although longevity assurance genes do affect the essential lifespan of a species, there are
no gerontogenes with the specific function to cause ageing and to limit the lifespan of an individual.
Approaches: Age-related diseases and other health problems may be better tackled by abandoning the futile hope of
discovering the one-shot age-reversing or anti-ageing treatments. Developing realistic, practical and wholistic methods,
such as mild stress-induced hormesis by physical, nutritional and mental hormetins, for maintaining health for a longer
period are more likely to succeed.