Mammal Aging is Controlled by an Evolvability-Based Adaptive Program

Evolvability is one of several modifications to traditional (Darwinian) concepts regarding the nature of the evolution process and suggests that the ability to evolve and genetically adapt to external conditions is itself an evolved trait. The subject article shows how a programmed aging concept based on evolvability provides a better fit to observations of mammal aging than other concepts that are also based on the idea that an aging program provides a necessary evolutionary function.

The article also suggests that the aging program is adaptive in the sense that it can non-genetically adjust in response to local or temporary conditions that affect the optimum value for the effects caused by aging.

Programmed aging theories propose that aging is controlled by a complex evolved biological mechanism that evolved because individual aging increases the chance that a population will survive and grow.

The programmed/non-programmed issue is very important to medical research because programmed theories suggest that there is a common treatable cause for most instances of highly age-related diseases like cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and heart disease. In the same way that we can find ways to treat a disease we can also find ways to delay aging.