Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Scientist Proposes New Theory Of Aging

Date:
July 17, 2003
Source:
NIH/National Institute On Aging
Summary:
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.

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.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NIH/National Institute On Aging. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

NIH/National Institute On Aging. "Scientist Proposes New Theory Of Aging." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 July 2003. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/07/030717091254.htm>.
NIH/National Institute On Aging. (2003, July 17). Scientist Proposes New Theory Of Aging. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/07/030717091254.htm
NIH/National Institute On Aging. "Scientist Proposes New Theory Of Aging." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/07/030717091254.htm (accessed August 1, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, August 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Texas Quintuplets Head Home

Texas Quintuplets Head Home

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 1, 2014) After four months in the hospital, the first quintuplets to be born at Baylor University Medical Center head home. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Patient Coming to U.S. for Treatment

Ebola Patient Coming to U.S. for Treatment

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 1, 2014) A U.S. aid worker infected with Ebola while working in West Africa will be treated in a high security ward at Emory University in Atlanta. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Vaccine Might Be Coming, But Where's It Been?

Ebola Vaccine Might Be Coming, But Where's It Been?

Newsy (Aug. 1, 2014) Health officials are working to fast-track a vaccine — the West-African Ebola outbreak has killed more than 700. But why didn't we already have one? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Links Certain Birth Control Pills To Breast Cancer

Study Links Certain Birth Control Pills To Breast Cancer

Newsy (Aug. 1, 2014) Previous studies have made the link between birth control and breast cancer, but the latest makes the link to high-estrogen oral contraceptives. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins