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Art Woods, Marty Martin
Jenny Regan, Dan Nussey
If natural selection is constantly ridding lineages of detrimental traits, why do all organisms wear down with age? Why does restricting the diet slow down the aging process?
On this episode of Big Biology we talk with Jenny Regan and Dan Nussey, scientists at the University of Edinburgh who study why some organisms age at different rates and what phenotypic plasticity might have to do with this with variation.
We discuss how aging happens, why species vary, and some of the major theories scientists use to explain it. We also discuss a paper that Jenny and Dan recently published in Functional Ecology, which proposes an evolutionary explanation for the life-extending effects of diet restriction. Their idea is that mechanisms that evolved to coordinate phenotypically plastic responses ultimately underpin aging.
Read Jenny and Dan’s recently published Functional Ecology paper that describes why diet restriction has anti-aging effects.
Cover photo: By Peter Schuchert
This episode is sponsored by Functional Ecology, published by the British Ecological Society. Functional Ecology publishes research that enables a mechanistic understanding of ecological pattern and process from the organismic to the ecosystem scale – asking the how and why questions in ecology.
Length of Episode
1 hour, 7 minutes, 43 seconds
Digital File Format
Woods, Art and Martin, Marty, "Episode 031: Methusalicious" (2019). BigBiology Podcasts. 32.