The concept of biomarkers of aging and age-related disease dates to the early 1980s as scientists engaged in aging research worked to clearly define aging and separate processes from disease with better prediction of both as an objective. The concept of basic aging processes, separate from disease, was then, and still is, not universally accepted. While the search for biomarkers of aging has a relatively long and difficult history, the search for biomarkers of disease is conceptually more straightforward. The biomarkers discussed in this issue are generally easier to understand, can be related to relevant functions, and often are the product of concentrated research interest. Further, these biomarkers could lead to earlier and more successful treatments and thus are often of very immediate interest. After a long period of concentration on lifespan extension and longevity by basic biologists, there is now a growing interest in health-span research. The reviews in this issue provide a strong rationale for increased interchange between basic biologists and their clinical colleagues.
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