New theory needed to explain the evolution of senescence

Annette Baudisch (June 25, 2013)

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Abstract

Senescence, the physiological decline that results in decreasing survival and/or reproduction with age, remains one of the most perplexing topics in biology. Most theories attempting to explain the evolution of senescence (i.e. antagonistic pleiotropy, mutation accumulation, disposable soma) were developed over half a century ago. Confronted with empirical patterns of survival and reproduction, predictions of the theories do not hold. New theory is needed to shed light on the determinants of patterns of birth and death.