You can't fool them
We can't cheat aging and death yet
Anna Yudina, "Scientific Russia"
A new study explains why life expectancy increases – not due to slowing down aging – according to a press release from the University of Southern Denmark We cannot cheat aging and death.
The study, conducted by Fernando Colchero of the University of Southern Denmark and Susan Alberts of Duke University in North Carolina, which involved researchers from 42 institutions from 14 countries, provides a new understanding of the theory of aging "invariant rate of aging hypothesis", which states that each species has a relatively fixed rate of aging.
Article by Colchero et al. The long lives of primates and the ‘invariant rate of aging’ hypothesis is published in the journal Nature Communications – VM.
Human death is inevitable. "No matter how many vitamins we take, how healthy our environment is or how much we exercise, we will eventually age and die," Fernando Colchero said.
He is an expert in the application of statistics and mathematics in population biology and an associate professor at the Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science at the University of Southern Denmark.
"We were able to shed light on the hypothesis of an invariant rate of aging by combining an unrepresented amount of data and comparing models of births and deaths in nine human populations with information obtained from 30 primate populations, including gorillas, chimpanzees and baboons living in the wild and in zoos," said Fernando Colchero.
To investigate this hypothesis, the researchers analyzed the relationship between life expectancy – the average age at which people die in a population – and life expectancy equality, which measures the concentration of deaths in old age.
Their results show that with an increase in life expectancy, life expectancy itself increases equally. Thus, life expectancy is very high when most people in the population die at about the same age, as is observed in modern Japan or Sweden – at about 70 or 80 years. However, in the 1800s, people died at different ages and in general fewer people died in old age, which also led to lower life expectancy.
Life expectancy has increased dramatically and continues to increase in many parts of the world. But this is not because we have slowed down the rate of aging; the reason is that more and more babies, children and young people are surviving, and this increases the average life expectancy, said Fernando Colchero.
A previous study by some of the authors of the study revealed a striking pattern between life expectancy and real life among human populations, from pre-industrial European countries and hunter-gatherers to modern industrial countries.
However, by studying these patterns among our closest relatives, this study shows that this pattern may be universal among primates, at the same time it provides a unique understanding of the mechanisms that cause it.
"We observe that not only humans, but also other primate species exposed to different environments, succeed in living longer by reducing infant and juvenile mortality. However, this relationship persists only if we reduce early mortality, and not by reducing the rate of aging," said Fernando Colchero.
Using statistics and mathematics, the authors show that even small changes in the rate of aging will cause a population of, say, baboons to demographically behave like a population of chimpanzees or even humans.
"All is not lost," says Fernando Colchero, "medical science has advanced at an unprecedented pace, so perhaps science will be able to achieve what evolution could not: reduce the rate of aging."
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