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The study of aging has recently been transformed by the application of tools and ideas from genetics and evolution. This development began in 1980, and has since been gathering momentum. The present volume collects most of the principles contributing to this new direction in aging research. Additionally the book incorporates elements from both molecular genetics and evolutionary genetics, uniting two divergent strategies in the study of aging. Some of the book's articles are more molecular, and some are more evolutionary in their orientation, some contributions combine both approaches in a way that has rarely been seen. The book will thus be of broad interest through all 'levels' of biology, from molecular biology to evolutionary biology.
The phylogenetic diversity covered by the articles is also fairly great: from yeast to plants, nematodes to Drosophila, and rodents to man. Nonetheless, there is a unity to the treatment, with questions like mutation-accumulation, number of loci, and the possibility of postponing aging arising repeatedly throughout the discussions of particular taxonomic groups.
There are few better starting places for graduate students interested in biological aging research than this volume. It is also a convenient collection for research workers in the area, who may need to track down an important idea or result. Finally, the book as a whole provides a bracing overview of biological aging.
Preface. Part One: General Perspectives on Aging. The Janiform genetics of aging: M.R. Rose, C.E. Finch. Evolutionary mechanisms of senescence; B. Charlesworth. Multation-selection balance and the evolution of senescence; A.G. Clark. Pathogen evolution within host individuals as a primary cause of senescence; G. Bell. Part Two: Diversity of Aging. Comparative approaches to the study of senescence: Bridging genetics and phylogenetics; D.E.L. Promislow, M. Tatar. The genetics of aging in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae; S.M. Jazwinski. Evolutionary senescence in plants; D.A. Roach. Comparing mutants, selective breeding, and transgenics in the dissection of aging processes of Caenorhabditis elegans; T.E. Johnson, P.M. Tedesco, G.J. Lithgow. New model systems for studying the evolutionary biology of aging: Crustacea; D. Reznick. Part Three: Aging in Drosophila. Evolution of aging: Testing the theory using Drosophila; L. Partridge, N.H. Barton. Population density effects on longevity; J.L. Graves, L.D. Mueller. Evolution of delayed reproductive senescence in male fruit flies: Sperm competition; P.M. Services, A.J. Fales. Genetic and environmental factors regulating the expression of an extended longevity phenotype in a long-lived strain of Drosophila; R. Arking, S.P. Dudas, G.T. Baker III. The effect of superoxide dismutase alleles on aging on Drosophila; R.H. TylerDAGGER, H. Brar, M. Singh, A. Latorre, J.L. Graves, L.D. Mueller, M.R. Rose, J. Ayala. Use of recombinant inbred lines to map genes of aging; L.K. Dixon. The effects of enhanced expression of elongation factor EF-1alpha on lifespan in Drosophila melanogaster. IV. A summary of three experiments; S.C. Stearns, M. Kaiser. Two-dimensional protein electrophoretic analysis of postponed aging in Drosophila; J.E. Fleming, G.S. Spicer, R.C. Garrison, M.R. Rose. Part Four: Aging in Mammals. Longevity and fecundity in eutherian mammals; R. Holliday. Thoughts on the evolutionary basis of dietary restriction; A. Richardson, M.A. Pahlavani. Genetic control of retroviral disease in aging wild mice; M.B. Gardner. Genetics of life span in mice; E.J. Yunis, M. Salazar. Genes of the major hisompatibility complex and the evolutionary genetics of lifespan; M.D. Crew. Genetic influences on glucose neurotoxicity, aging, and diabetes: a possible role for glucose hysteresis; C.V. Mobbs. Genetic heterogeneity of gene defects responsible for familial Alzheimer disease; R. Tanzi, S. Gaston, A. Bush, D. Romano, W. Pettingell, J. Peppercorn, M. Paradis, S. Gurubhgavatula, B. Jenkins, W. Wasco. Abiotrophic gene action in Homo sapiens: Potential mechanisms and significance for the pathobiology of aging; G.M. Martin. Antagonistic pleiotropy, mutation accumulation, and huiman genetic disease; R.L. Albin.