Programmed Aging Theory Information Adaptive Theories of Aging


Type: Adaptive hypothesis, also known as programmed aging or active aging

Definition: Aging is determined by natural selection acting at a supra-individual level

Proposers: Weismann 1889, Libertini 1983, 1988, 2006, 2008, Skulachev 1997, 2002, 2003, Bowles 2000, Goldsmith 2003, 2004, 2006, 2008, Skulachev & Longo 2005, Longo, Mitteldorf & Skulachev 2005, Mitteldorf 2006.

Empirical Evidence:
1) The existence of animals with negligible senescence is predicted by the hypothesis
2) The inverse correlation observed in the wild between extrinsic mortality rate and proportion of deaths due to intrinsic mortality is predicted by the hypothesis
3) The existence of mechanisms genetically determined and regulated limiting lifespan (e.g.: the limitation of cell turnover by effect of telomere-telomerase system) is predicted by the hypothesis
4) The negative relation between caloric intake and lifespan is compatible with the hypothesis and could be explained as the consequence of the regulation of aging program in particular conditions

Adaptive Hypothesis is fully compatible with empirical evidence. The evidence of some phenomena specifically predicted by the theory and in contrast with other hypotheses support strongly Adaptive Hypothesis.

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