Reason for different animals' longevity

  • #1
stevendaryl
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Is there a biological consensus about why some species live so much longer than other species? You can sort of understand aging as a matter of the body just wearing out with time. But that doesn't explain why, for instance, dogs go through a similar aging process as humans (gray hair, arthritis, cancer, etc.) decades earlier than humans do. Is the difference the length of our telomeres? Or our pulse rates? Or what?
 

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  • #3
Ygggdrasil
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I'm not sure the article gives a concrete answer, but you may be interested in reading the following paper:

Jones et al. 2014. Diversity of ageing across the tree of life. Nature 505: 169 http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature12789 [Broken]
Abstract: Evolution drives, and is driven by, demography. A genotype moulds its phenotype’s age patterns of mortality and fertility in an environment; these two patterns in turn determine the genotype’s fitness in that environment. Hence, to understand the evolution of ageing, age patterns of mortality and reproduction need to be compared for species across the tree of life. However, few studies have done so and only for a limited range of taxa. Here we contrast standardized patterns over age for 11 mammals, 12 other vertebrates, 10 invertebrates, 12 vascular plants and a green alga. Although it has been predicted that evolution should inevitably lead to increasing mortality and declining fertility with age after maturity, there is great variation among these species, including increasing, constant, decreasing, humped and bowed trajectories for both long- and short-lived species. This diversity challenges theoreticians to develop broader perspectives on the evolution of ageing and empiricists to study the demography of more species.

In particular, the article has this really nice figure of relative mortality (red) and fertility (blue) as a function of age for a number of different organisms:
nature12789-f1.jpg


For a discussion of the biological factors involved in human aging, see:
López-Otín et al. 2013. The Hallmarks of Aging. Cell 153: 1194. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2013.05.039 [Broken]
Abstract: Aging is characterized by a progressive loss of physiological integrity, leading to impaired function and increased vulnerability to death. This deterioration is the primary risk factor for major human pathologies, including cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disorders, and neurodegenerative diseases. Aging research has experienced an unprecedented advance over recent years, particularly with the discovery that the rate of aging is controlled, at least to some extent, by genetic pathways and biochemical processes conserved in evolution. This Review enumerates nine tentative hallmarks that represent common denominators of aging in different organisms, with special emphasis on mammalian aging. These hallmarks are: genomic instability, telomere attrition, epigenetic alterations, loss of proteostasis, deregulated nutrient sensing, mitochondrial dysfunction, cellular senescence, stem cell exhaustion, and altered intercellular communication. A major challenge is to dissect the interconnectedness between the candidate hallmarks and their relative contributions to aging, with the final goal of identifying pharmaceutical targets to improve human health during aging, with minimal side effects.
 
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  • #4
Bandersnatch
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In the picture above, spot the odd one out.
Przechwytywanie.PNG

Cheeky immortal bastards!
 
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