The CellAge database was announced last year, a repository of information on genes linked to cellular senescence. Cells become senescent in response to a variety of stresses, or upon reaching the Hayflick limit.
A senescent cell ceases replication and secretes inflammatory and pro-growth signals. The process serves a useful function when such cells are present for a short time and then destroyed, aiding in suppression of cancer and in wound healing. When senescent cells linger, they cause chronic inflammation and significant disruption to tissue function, however.
This is one of the contributing causes of aging, and selective removal of these cells via senolytic therapies will likely be the first form of rejuvenation therapy to see widespread use. Meanwhile, some research groups are instead looking for ways to inhibit entry into the senescent state, a task that starts by identifying relevant mechanisms that might be points of intervention.
Source: Fight Aging!