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Horizons in the evolution of aging

Flatt, T; Partridge, L; (2018) Horizons in the evolution of aging. BMC Biology , 16 , Article 93. 10.1186/s12915-018-0562-z. Green open access

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Abstract

Between the 1930s and 50s, evolutionary biologists developed a successful theory of why organisms age, firmly rooted in population genetic principles. By the 1980s the evolution of aging had a secure experimental basis. Since the force of selection declines with age, aging evolves due to mutation accumulation or a benefit to fitness early in life. Here we review major insights and challenges that have emerged over the last 35 years: selection does not always necessarily decline with age; higher extrinsic (i.e., environmentally caused) mortality does not always accelerate aging; conserved pathways control aging rate; senescence patterns are more diverse than previously thought; aging is not universal; trade-offs involving lifespan can be ‘broken’; aging might be ‘druggable’; and human life expectancy continues to rise but compressing late-life morbidity remains a pressing challenge.

Type: Article
Title: Horizons in the evolution of aging
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1186/s12915-018-0562-z
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1186/s12915-018-0562-z
Language: English
Additional information: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
Keywords: Science & Technology, Life Sciences & Biomedicine, Biology, Life Sciences & Biomedicine - Other Topics, NEMATODE CAENORHABDITIS-ELEGANS, LIFE-HISTORY EVOLUTION, FECUNDITY/LONGEVITY TRADE-OFF, AFRICAN TURQUOISE KILLIFISH, AGE-RELATED DISEASE, LONG-LIVED MUTANTS, GROWTH-FACTOR-I, NAKED MOLE-RAT, DROSOPHILA-MELANOGASTER, INSULIN-RECEPTOR
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences > Genetics, Evolution and Environment
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10056350
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