SFI: ‘But Why Do Smaller Dogs Live Longer…?’

Chen Hou, Missouri University
 
SFI News:
 
The Santa Fe Institute (SFI) holds seminar “But Why Do Smaller Dogs Live Longer? A Universal Theory To Answer The Question Dr. Geoffrey West Could Not Answer” at 12:15 p.m., Wednesday Dec. 2 at Collins Conference Room in Santa Fe.
 
Abstract: The relationship between energy expenditure and longevity has been a central theme in aging studies.
 
Rate of living theory and oxidative stress theory suggest that longevity is negatively correlated with mass-specific metabolic rate, which is usually positively correlated with animals’ body size.
 
However, empirical studies have yielded controversial results. In this talk, I will focus on two of the long-standing puzzles in the field.
 
First, why across species larger animals live longer, but within a species, e.g. in dogs, smaller breeds have longer lifespan.
 
Second, how food restriction and growth hormone interference extend lifespan without lowering metabolic rate.
 
I argue that the energy tradeoff between biosynthesis and maintenance is the key to explaining these paradoxes, and I will use one single equation, based on first principles of energy conservation and allometric scaling laws, to reconcile these seemingly contradictory phenomena.
 
SFI Host: Geoffrey West
 
Click here to view the online event listing.
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