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Social genetics, quantitative genetics, and the evolution of aging.

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Jacob Moorad, un biologiste de l’évolution, chercheur à l’université d’Edinburgh, viendra nous présenter son travail en génétique quantitative de la senescence, le mardi 23 mai à 16h00, Musée de l’Homme.

Titre : Social genetics, quantitative genetics, and the evolution of aging.

Résumé :

The evolution of aging rests on solid conceptual grounds : genes that contribute to late-life dysfunction can accumulate in populations because selection to remove these genes is weak. However, the degree to which aging evolves in particular species depends upon the specifics of gene action, and much is unknown about this.

Some aging theory considers the possibility that the way that individuals age can be affected by genes expressed by their social partners, such as siblings, parents, or grand-parents.

These models can make rich evolutionary predictions, including the evolution of elevated juvenile mortality, menopause and extreme lifespans. Unfortunately, genetic assumptions made by these models are rarely tested because it is not always clear how to make relevant measures in real populations. Quantitative genetics offers a promising framework with which to bridge aging theory to experimental and observational data.

I will illustrate applications from my own work that develops evolutionary quantitative genetic models of aging and tests these models using animal and human populations.