Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Scientist proposes new theory of aging

15.07.2003


Birds do it, bees do it, and yes, even chimpanzees do it. They all dote on their young. And now a new theory of aging suggests that nurturing offspring is just as important as fertility and reproduction for the evolution of a species’ longevity and long-term survival.



The new theory, proposed by Ronald D. Lee, Ph.D., of University of California, Berkeley, suggests that natural selection favors animals capable of devoting energy and resources to insuring survival of the next generation. After birth, all mammals including primates, all birds, many insects and some fish nurture their offspring. Post-reproductive bottle nose dolphins and pilot whales, for instance, babysit, guard and even breastfeed their grandchildren. And in certain primates, the gender that provides the primary care to offspring tends to have a higher life expectancy. This suggests that nurturing behavior and longevity evolved together over time.

The hypothesis appears in the Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences Online Early Edition the week of July 14, (doi:10.1073/pnas.1530303100). This work was supported by the National Institute on Aging (NIA), part of the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.


"This theory offers a fresh look at how longevity and nurturing behavior may have evolved and challenges many pre-existing ideas about the nature of aging. It is an important concept that opens the door to new ways of thinking about longevity," says Richard Suzman, Ph.D., Associate Director of the NIA for the Behavioral and Social Research Program.

According to previous theory, since the primary evolutionary goal of any species is propagation, natural selection against aging and mortality weaken once an organism begins to reproduce, and its remaining fertility declines. Weaker selection leads to generalized deterioration and aging. But this theory has several flaws, Dr. Lee says. It doesn’t account, for instance, for extended post-reproductive survival, juvenile mortality falling with age, and the evolution of low levels of fertility combined with heavy investment in the nurturing of offspring. The new theory attempts to fill in many of these gaps.

Doug Dollemore | EurekAlert!

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Zap! Graphene is bad news for bacteria
23.05.2017 | Rice University

nachricht Discovery of an alga's 'dictionary of genes' could lead to advances in biofuels, medicine
23.05.2017 | University of California - Los Angeles

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

Im Focus: Using graphene to create quantum bits

In the race to produce a quantum computer, a number of projects are seeking a way to create quantum bits -- or qubits -- that are stable, meaning they are not much affected by changes in their environment. This normally needs highly nonlinear non-dissipative elements capable of functioning at very low temperatures.

In pursuit of this goal, researchers at EPFL's Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements LPQM (STI/SB), have investigated a nonlinear graphene-based...

Im Focus: Bacteria harness the lotus effect to protect themselves

Biofilms: Researchers find the causes of water-repelling properties

Dental plaque and the viscous brown slime in drainpipes are two familiar examples of bacterial biofilms. Removing such bacterial depositions from surfaces is...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

Innovation 4.0: Shaping a humane fourth industrial revolution

17.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Scientists propose synestia, a new type of planetary object

23.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Zap! Graphene is bad news for bacteria

23.05.2017 | Life Sciences

Medical gamma-ray camera is now palm-sized

23.05.2017 | Medical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>