Category Archives: Theses

Thesis 20

Thesis #20 – A single pharmaceutical or nutritional substance will never cure aging, for aging is not a simple physiological disease or dysfunction, but the de-tuning of adaptation with adult age. The quest for a substance that might arrest aging, … Continue reading

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Thesis 21

Thesis #21 – Multiple pharmaceutical substances or nutritional supplements will only ameliorate aging to the extent that they achieve genome-wide tuning similar to that which natural selection achieves when its forces are strengthened at later ages. So how best to … Continue reading

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Thesis 22

Thesis #22 – Repairing molecular or cellular damage will provide at most partial amelioration for the problem of de-tuned adaptation with adult age, because cumulative damage will also occur at organ and systemic levels at every physiological level as a … Continue reading

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Thesis 23

Thesis #23 – Repairing all types of cumulative damage during the aging phase will provide at most partial amelioration for the problem of declining adaptation with age, because some of this decline will be due to failures of signaling and other features … Continue reading

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Thesis 24

Thesis #24 – Altering all cell-molecular regulatory signaling during the aging phase will provide at most partial amelioration for the problem of declining adaptation, because dysfunctional signaling will also arise at organ and systemic levels as a result of the … Continue reading

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Thesis 25

Thesis #25 – Repairing all forms of cumulative damage and altering all types of regulatory signaling during the aging phase will also fail to fully alleviate aging, because some features of aging will arise from the absence of structural gene-products … Continue reading

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Thesis 26

Thesis #26 – The forces of natural selection can be strengthened during adulthood by postponing the first age at which they begin to decline, which can be achieved for the force of natural selection acting on age-specific mortality by postponing … Continue reading

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Thesis 27

Thesis #27 – Among populations which have had their forces of natural selection strengthened experimentally, detectable improvements in adult survival and reproduction have been observably achieved within dozens of generations. So there I am, in 1977, realizing that all evolution … Continue reading

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Thesis 28

Thesis #28 – Among such experimental populations evolving greater levels of adaptation at later adult ages, evolutionary changes in (a) structural gene frequency, (b) gene regulation, (c) patterns of cumulative damage, and (d) still other features of physiological function will … Continue reading

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Thesis 29

Thesis #29 – Species with fully symmetrical fission as the sole means of reproduction do not have a declining force of natural selection acting on survival, and they do not evolve aging phases in which all individuals show declining survival. … Continue reading

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Thesis 33

Thesis #33 – When late-adult plateaus in survival and reproduction occur, members of biological cohorts that reach such plateaus will show stabilization of some but not necessarily all functional characters. Evolutionary theory makes a simple prediction about how the key … Continue reading

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Thesis 34

Thesis #35 – Severe antagonistic pleiotropy can cause the evolution of zero late-adult survival probability even under ideal conditions, when genetic trade-offs between early reproduction and subsequent adult survival are sufficiently strong. Not all organisms have three phases to their … Continue reading

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Thesis 35

Thesis #35 – The ages at which the forces of natural selection plateau depend on the last ages of reproduction and survival in the evolutionary history of a population, allowing experimental evolution of the cessation of aging by deliberately changing … Continue reading

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Thesis 36

Thesis #36 – Experimental populations which have evolved different time-points for the cessation of aging can be used to uncover the biological foundations that determine the timing of the cessation of aging. During the 1980s and 1990s, my laboratory devoted … Continue reading

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Thesis 37

Thesis #37 – Patterns of aging, including the rates of decline of functional characters and the timing of any cessation in such decline, depend on the environments in which cohorts are raised and live as adults. (Picture of Einstein talking … Continue reading

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Thesis 38

Thesis #38 – Some environmentally-induced variation in patterns of aging reflects the impact of selectively-favored patterns of life-history plasticity, but some environmental variation in aging does not reflect adaptive plasticity, such as that due to novel environments. An important distinction … Continue reading

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Thesis 39

Thesis #39 –  Patterns of adaptation are jointly determined by long-antecedent evolutionary patterns of natural selection, mutation, and inbreeding, as well as the immediate impact of environmental manipulation. In studying the aging phase and other patterns of adaptation in an … Continue reading

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Thesis 40

Thesis #40 – Experimental strategies for the study of aging that involve the introduction of novel mutations or increased levels of inbreeding will systematically impair the scientific study of aging, as they degrade and disrupt adaptation generally. At this point, … Continue reading

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Thesis 41

Thesis #41 – Experimental strategies for the study of aging that involve the use of environments that are evolutionarily novel will systematically impair the scientific study of aging, as natural selection will not have previously fostered adaptation to such novel … Continue reading

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Thesis 42

Thesis #42 – As a pattern of age-dependent adaptation, aging and the post-aging period are best studied using the range of methods used to study adaptation by evolutionary biologists, such as the comparative method, experimental evolution, and genomics. By this … Continue reading

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Thesis 44

Thesis #44 – Most of our ancestral hominin populations of the last million years benefited from increased forces of natural selection at early adult ages under conditions of relatively abundant nutrition derived from hunting, gathering, and cooking and an increased … Continue reading

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Thesis 45

Thesis #45 – Our ancestral hunter-gatherer populations had generally low population densities, and thus low effective population sizes, which produced relatively early cessation of aging at relatively high function due to genetic drift. With very low population densities among our … Continue reading

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Thesis 46

Thesis #46 – In the last ten to twenty thousand years, some human populations adopted extensive agricultural cultivation of grass species and the use of milk from other mammals for nutrition, a novel environment which changed the action of natural … Continue reading

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Thesis 47

Thesis #47 – This novel agricultural lifestyle initially depressed adaptation and health, leading to intense natural selection for adaptations to the digestion of foods derived from grasses and milk, which has since produced adaptation to agricultural conditions at early ages. … Continue reading

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Thesis 48

Thesis #48 – Agricultural populations have also undergone substantial increases in population size compared to those of their ancestral hunter-gatherer populations, which increased the effectiveness of natural selection at later adult ages, resulting in the evolution of a delay in … Continue reading

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Thesis 49

Thesis #49 – In agricultural populations over the last ten thousand years, the longer-sustained effectiveness of natural selection has resulted in an age-dependent pattern of falling adaptation to agricultural conditions in which functional decline is sustained over a longer period … Continue reading

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Thesis 50

Thesis #50 – Children and young adults with predominantly agricultural ancestry are well adapted to agricultural conditions of nutrition and activity, but children and young adults without agricultural ancestry are not adapted to such conditions. Let us address with particular … Continue reading

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Thesis 51

Thesis #51 – Older adults from all human populations are not adequately adapted to agricultural patterns of nutrition and activity, resulting in an amplification of aging under such conditions. Naturally, older adults from non-agricultural populations will be no better adapted … Continue reading

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Thesis 52

Thesis #52 – All people without significant agricultural ancestry should revert to patterns of nutrition and activity which have physiological effects like those of hunter-gatherer lifestyles, in order to slow their aging and hasten its cessation. The case of individuals … Continue reading

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Thesis 53

Thesis #53 – Young people with significant agricultural ancestry can sustain their health with agricultural patterns of nutrition and activity, but not with an evolutionarily novel industrial lifestyle. It is tempting to suppose that young people with agricultural ancestry are … Continue reading

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