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Aging from a biodemographer's viewpoint

From Santa Fe Institute Events Wiki

Commonalities appear in the shapes of age-specific hazard functions across widely differing species including, along with humans, species of flies and worms. Biodemographers are seeking explanations from reliability engineering, from theories of tradeoffs, genetic or behavioral, and from models of mutation accumulation. This talk will begin with a survey of progress from a demographer's point of view, touching on heterogeneity, Markovian vitality models, antagonistic pleiotropy, and optimal life histories. The talk will then give an overview of new work, joint with David Steinsaltz and Steve Evans, on non-linear infinite-population models of mutation-selection balance in the spirit of Kimura and Maruyama, involving large numbers of mutations with small, age-specific effects on hazard functions. We identify classes of assumptions which lead to predicted hazard functions displaying the generic features which biodemographers observe.