Research Seminar: Dr Alexei Maklakov - University of East Anglia
Dr Alexei Maklakov hosted by Dr Sinead English
Life Sciences Seminar Room G13/G14
Why Do Organisms Age: Beyond Energy Trade-Offs
Recent breakthroughs in the biology of ageing have challenged the long-standing paradigm that energy trade-offs between reproduction and longevity underlie organismal senescence. Specifically, experimental downregulation of nutrient-sensing signalling pathways that govern biosynthesis in response to nutrient availability can achieve increased longevity without reduced reproduction. The emerging new theory of ageing provides a conceptually novel framework for these paradoxical findings by proposing that ageing is a direct consequence of physiological processes optimized for early-life function, such as growth and early-life reproduction, that are running ‘too high’ (i.e. at hyperfunction) in late adulthood. Contrary to the classic view based on energy allocation trade-offs, the hyperfunction theory predicts that health, longevity and Darwinian fitness can be simultaneously improved by optimizing nutrient-sensing signalling in late-life. I will discuss these ideas in the context of the classic evolutionary theory of ageing, and show some unpublished experimental data testing these ideas in Caenorhabditis nematodes.
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