, Volume 17, Issue 5–6, pp 805–816 | Cite as

The death spiral: predicting death in Drosophila cohorts

  • Laurence D. Mueller
  • Parvin Shahrestani
  • Casandra L. Rauser
  • Michael R. Rose
Original Article


Drosophila research has identified a new feature of aging that has been called the death spiral. The death spiral is a period prior to death during which there is a decline in life-history characters, such as fecundity, as well as physiological characters. First, we review the data from the Drosophila and medfly literature that suggest the existence of death spirals. Second, we re-analyze five cases with such data from four laboratories using a generalized statistical framework, a re-analysis that strengthens the case for the salience of the death spiral phenomenon. Third, we raise the issue whether death spirals need to be taken into account in the analysis of functional characters over age, in aging research with model species as well as human data.


Drosophila melanogaster Aging Fecundity Virility Demography Disability 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Laurence D. Mueller
    • 1
  • Parvin Shahrestani
    • 1
    • 2
  • Casandra L. Rauser
    • 1
    • 3
  • Michael R. Rose
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Ecology and Evolutionary BiologyUniversity of CaliforniaIrvineUSA
  2. 2.Department of Biological ScienceCalifornia State University FullertonFullertonUSA
  3. 3.UCLA Office of Vice Chancellor for Research-UCLA Grand ChallengesLos AngelesUSA

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