Navigation Links
Study finds primates age gracefully
Date:3/10/2011

A new study says chimps, gorillas and other primates grow old gracefully much like humans. The findings come from the first-ever multi-species comparison of primate aging patterns reported in the March 11 issue of Science.

It was long thought that humans, who have relatively long life spans, age more slowly than other animals. But new research funded by the National Science Foundation's Division of Environmental Biology suggests the pace of human aging may not be so unique after all.

We had good reason to think human aging was unique, said co-author Anne Bronikowski of Iowa State University. Humans, for example, live longer than many animals with some exceptions--parrots, seabirds, clams and tortoises. But humans are the longest-lived primates.

"Humans live for many more years past our reproductive prime," Bronikowski said. "If we were like other mammals, we would start dying fairly rapidly after we reach mid-life. But we don't."

Bronikowski is one of 11 biologists and anthropologists whose research figured into the study.

"There's been this argument in the scientific literature for a long time that human aging was unique, but we didn't have data on aging in wild primates besides chimps until recently," said another co-author Susan Alberts, a Duke University biologist.

The researchers combined data from long-term studies of seven species of wild primates: capuchin monkeys from Costa Rica, muriqui monkeys from Brazil, baboons and blue monkeys from Kenya, chimpanzees from Tanzania, gorillas from Rwanda, and sifaka lemurs from Madagascar.

The work focused on the risk of dying. When researchers compared human aging rates--measured as the rate at which mortality risk increases with age--to similar data for nearly 3,000 individual monkeys, apes, and lemurs. The human data fell neatly within the primate continuum.

"Human patterns are not strikingly different, even though wild primates experience sources of mortality from which humans may be protected," the authors write in Science.

The results also confirm a pattern observed in humans and elsewhere in the animal kingdom: as males age, they die sooner than their female counterparts. In primates, the mortality gap between males and females is narrowest for the species with the least amount of male-male aggression--a monkey called the muriqui--the researchers report.

"Muriquis are the only species in our sample in which males do not compete overtly with one another for access to mates," said co-author Karen Strier, an anthropologist at the University of Wisconsin who has studied muriquis since 1982. The results suggest the reason why males of other species die faster than females may be the stress and strain of competition, the authors say.

Modern medicine is helping humans live longer than ever before, the researchers note. "Yet we still don't know what governs maximum life span," Alberts said. She is also the associate director of the NSF-funded National Evolutionary Synthesis Center in Durham, N.C.

"Some human studies suggest we might be able to live a lot longer than we do now," she said. "Looking to other primates to understand where we are and aren't flexible in our aging will help answer that question."


'/>"/>

Contact: Bobbie Mixon
bmixon@nsf.gov
703-292-8485
National Science Foundation
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Long-term study shows effect of climate change on animal diversity
2. £2 million study to reveal workings of dementia genes
3. New study looks to define evangelicals and how they affect polling
4. CU-Boulder study suggests air quality regulations miss key pollutants
5. Researchers study acoustic communication in deep-sea fish
6. Study reveals homeowner perceptions in fire-prone areas
7. Researchers study how pistachios may improve heart health
8. Study: urban black bears live fast, die young
9. New study indicates link between weight gains during pregnancy and dieting history
10. Study reveals specific gene in adolescent men with delinquent peers
11. Sweat it out: UH study examines ability of sweat patches to monitor bone loss
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/8/2017)... 2017 The biometrics market has reached ... of organizations, desires to better authenticate or identify ... and challenge questions), biometrics is quickly working its ... market is driven by use cases, though there ... enterprise uses cases, with consumer-facing use cases encompassing ...
(Date:2/6/2017)... , Feb. 6, 2017 According to ... are driving border authorities to continue to embrace ... there are 2143 Automated Border Control (ABC) eGates ... deployed at more than 163 ports of entry ... to 2016 achieving a combined CAGR of 37%. ...
(Date:2/2/2017)... 1, 2017  Central to its deep commitment ... worldwide, The Japan Prize Foundation today announced the ... pushed the envelope in their respective fields of ... scientists are being recognized with the 2017 Japan ... only contribute to the advancement of science and ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/16/2017)... ... ... EIT Digital has launched work to develop a new Smart IOT ... to get under way for the framework, which is designed to reduce the use ... to be transferred eventually to other industries that also require efficient IoT and management ...
(Date:2/16/2017)... , Feb. 16, 2017  MDNA Life ... the development of liquid biopsy tests based on ... into an exclusive license agreement with its first ... proprietary liquid biopsy test for prostate cancer, the ... Korea . This is the first overseas ...
(Date:2/16/2017)... Feb. 16, 2017   Biostage, Inc. (Nasdaq: ... biotechnology company developing bioengineered organ implants to treat cancers ... trachea, announced today the closing on February 15, 2017 ... of common stock and warrants to purchase 20,000,000 shares ... million. The offering was priced at $0.40 per share ...
(Date:2/16/2017)... N.J. , Feb. 16, 2017  Champions Oncology, ... in the development and sale of advanced technology solutions ... oncology drugs, today announced the addition of new cohorts ... These new models will expand Champions, product line ... head and neck cancer, AML, and non-small cell lung ...
Breaking Biology Technology: