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Generating insights into human aging from experimental evolution using bats (or other “slow” life history species)

Abstract

Our understanding of the complex process of aging has benefitted greatly from experimental evolution. The traditional animal models for human aging, however, are all characterized by “fast” life-histories, with rapid development, short lifespan and intensive, early investment in reproduction. This is in sharp contrast to the characteristics of the human life history and so may lead to inappropriate extrapolations about processes important in human aging. In response to these challenges and for better understanding and intervening in processes fundamental to aging in humans, I propose programs of experimental evolution for both delayed reproduction and for accelerated development in a bat species with a significantly slower life history than traditional animal models for human aging.

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Correspondence to John P. Phelan.

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Phelan, J.P. Generating insights into human aging from experimental evolution using bats (or other “slow” life history species). J Bioecon 20, 165–173 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10818-017-9262-y

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Keywords

  • Experimental evolution
  • Life history theory
  • Aging
  • Animal models
  • Hazard factor
  • Longevity