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Aging has always been with us, say researchers (to no one’s surprise)

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Fountain of Youth
The Fountain of Youth/Lucas Cranach the Elder (Wikimedia Commons)

This group somehow links it to natural selection:

A new USC Dornsife study indicates that aging may have originated at the very beginning of the evolution of life, at the same time as the evolution of the first genes.

This could be a game changer for research on longevity and aging. It may also be relevant to the scientific discussions surrounding CRISPR9 gene editing,” said John Tower, biologist at the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences. “We found that when it comes to genes, aging may not always be a negative trait. It may help an organism survive.”

To test this, Tower and a team of researchers developed a scenario with molecules can replicate themselves. Such molecules are believed to be the evolutionary origin of modern genes.

Using computer modeling, the researchers paired an unstable short-lived gene, B, and its interactions with a longer-living gene, A, to create a new replicator, AB. In some simulations, the fact that B was short-lived enhanced beneficial aspects of A that would maximize the proliferation of the AB replicator.

“The results suggest that evolution can favor the limited stability of genes as a way to increase complexity and the reproductive fitness of the organism,” Tower said. University of Southern California, “Aging may be as old as life itself” at Eurekalert

Sounds pretty thin considering that, due to entropy alone, things wear down, whether that makes them more fit or not. But the research is of interest to the booming anti-aging market and, for sure, that market wants to believe.

See also: Anomaly: Human mortality hits a plateau after 105 years of age

Is aging a disease or does it serve an evolutionary purpose?

Study: Religiously affiliated people lived “9.45 and 5.64 years longer…”


Natural selection: Could it be the single greatest idea ever invented?

I thought that someone discovered 20 years ago that genes “fray” during replication, and so there is a max limit on how many times they can possibly replicate before they are rendered unworkable?
True, see How Many Mutations Are Accumulating Each Generation? I've seen it suggested by some researchers that the rise in autism is possibly an early symptom of the coming genetic meltdown. Another one of those facts that indicate Neodarwinism is a failed theory. As well a suggestion that.... we can't have been around all that long. Latemarch
If they're going to do abstract modeling of evolutionary ideas, this particular model of pairing doesn't really do much. Where in Nature do we find an old-new pair of genes forming a "replicator"? A better question for quantitative study would be the intuitive notion that adaptation works better when oldies get out of the way sooner. Even in economic situations this isn't obvious. Experience makes fewer mistakes than youthful exuberance. Fast mutation is another name for cancer. I'd guess the balance would depend entirely on specific circumstances, with no general answer. polistra
I thought that someone discovered 20 years ago that genes "fray" during replication, and so there is a max limit on how many times they can possibly replicate before they are rendered unworkable? That is, if you aren't hit by a bus before you turn 30, you're still likely to be dead before you turn 80 because too many of your systems will have become too inefficient. Surviving to 100 is most likely just a matter of luck. vmahuna
Why we can’t really live forever via advanced technology September 9, 2018 Excerpt: Perhaps it would help the good researchers immensely to properly understand what eternity actually entails in the first place? https://uncommondesc.wpengine.com/philosophy/why-we-cant-really-live-forever-via-advanced-technology/#comment-664736
Quotes and Verse:
"We have the sober scientific certainty that the heavens and earth shall ‘wax old as doth a garment’.... Dark indeed would be the prospects of the human race if unilluminated by that light which reveals ‘new heavens and a new earth.’" Sir William Thomson, Lord Kelvin (1824 – 1907) – pioneer in many different fields, particularly electromagnetism and thermodynamics. Hebrews 1:10-12 You, Lord, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth, And the heavens are the works of Your hands; They will perish, but You remain; And they all will become old like a garment, And like a mantle You will roll them up; Like a garment they will also be changed. But You are the same, And Your years will not come to an end. The Physics of the Small and Large: What is the Bridge Between Them? Roger Penrose Excerpt: “The time-asymmetry is fundamentally connected to with the Second Law of Thermodynamics: indeed, the extraordinarily special nature (to a greater precision than about 1 in 10^10^123, in terms of phase-space volume) can be identified as the “source” of the Second Law (Entropy).” How special was the big bang? – Roger Penrose Excerpt: This now tells us how precise the Creator’s aim must have been: namely to an accuracy of one part in 10^10^123. (from the Emperor’s New Mind, Penrose, pp 339-345 – 1989) Shining Light on Dark Energy - October 21, 2012 Excerpt: It (Entropy) explains time; it explains every possible action in the universe;,, Even gravity, Vedral argued, can be expressed as a consequence of the law of entropy. ,,, The principles of thermodynamics are at their roots all to do with information theory. Information theory is simply an embodiment of how we interact with the universe —,,, http://crev.info/2012/10/shining-light-on-dark-energy/ Entropy Explains Aging, Genetic Determinism Explains Longevity, and Undefined Terminology Explains Misunderstanding Both - 2007 Excerpt: There is a huge body of knowledge supporting the belief that age changes are characterized by increasing entropy, which results in the random loss of molecular fidelity, and accumulates to slowly overwhelm maintenance systems [1–4].,,, http://www.plosgenetics.org/article/info%3Adoi/10.1371/journal.pgen.0030220
But wait! What about "Deep Time"? Isn't Deep Time the magic agent that keeps us alive forever while it fiddles with all our parts and improving them? Has anyone ever seen anything that does not deteriorate over time? And relatively Shallow Time at that. Checked your auto junk yard lately? That old wooden fence in the back yard? How about your own body, and those of all you know older than say, 30 years? Of course aging has always been with us. And evolution has not. ayearningforpublius

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