Science of Aging  

Michael R. Rose Asserts That Senescence Can Be Postponed By Natural Selection

Who:Michael R. Rose
When:February 02, 1984
Methods: Reviewing past articles
Institution: Dalhousie University
Where: Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

In his paper: The evolution of animal senescence Rose asserts that aging is affected by natural selection, citing prior experiments in which proper selection of fruit flies (Drosophila) caused an extension of lifespan. Rose theorizes that aging crept into evolution by conferring early benefits with later decline and thus was favored by evolution.

Reviewing other theories of aging, Rose concludes: "There are no absolute, universal, physiological causes of senescence." The question, however, is still open.


  1. M.R. Rose. 1984. The evolution of animal senescence. Can. J. Zool. 62: 1661-1667