Background & Aims

Why do we age? Aging is the decline of physiological function, leading to a decrease in age-specific reproductive rate and an increase in age-specific mortality rates. Evolutionary theories of aging rest upon the foundation that the strength of selection declines with age and that there are mutations with age-specific effects on survival and fecundity. There are two main evolutionary theories of senescence, the Mutation accumulation theory of aging (MA) and the Antagonistic Pleiotropy theory of aging (AP).

In this study I had three questions.

1: Does fisher’s model of adaptive evolution correctly predict that early life deleterious mutations have a larger effect than late life deleterious mutations?

2: Does constant exposure to deleterious mutations cause accelerated aging?

3: Does the effect of a deleterious mutation accumulate with age?