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When both genotype and environment are held constant, 'chance' variation in the lifespan of individuals in a population is still quite large. Using isogenic populations of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, we show that, on the first day of adult life, chance variation in the level of induction of a green fluorescent protein (GFP) reporter coupled to a(More)
Reproduction exacts a price in terms of decreased survival. Our analysis of the interplay between age patterns of fecundity and mortality for individual female medflies (Ceratitis capitata) revealed that individual mortality is associated with the time-dynamics of the egg-laying trajectory. In a sample of 531 medflies, we found that each individual has a(More)
Progress in unraveling the genetic origins of healthy aging is tempered, in part, by a lack of replication of effects, which is often considered a signature of false-positive findings. We convincingly demonstrate that the lack of genetic effects on an aging-related trait can be because of trade-offs in the gene action. We focus on the well-studied(More)
Age-specific mortality levels off at advanced ages in many species; one explanation for this phenomenon is provided by the population heterogeneity theory. Although mortality at advanced ages can be well fit by heterogeneity models, population heterogeneity remains theoretical, lacking much direct evidence to support the existence of unobserved(More)
Gaining insights into genetic predisposition to age-related diseases and lifespan is a challenging task complicated by the elusive role of evolution in these phenotypes. To gain more insights, we combined methods of genome-wide and candidate-gene studies. Genome-wide scan in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study (N = 9,573) was used to(More)
Traditionally, genomewide association studies (GWAS) have emphasized the benefits of large samples in the analyses of age-related traits rather than their specific properties. We adopted a realistic concept of genetic susceptibility to inherently heterogeneous, age-related traits driven by the elusive role of evolution in their properties. We analyzed in(More)
The results of genome-wide association studies of complex traits, such as life span or age at onset of chronic disease, suggest that such traits are typically affected by a large number of small-effect alleles. Individually such alleles have little predictive values, therefore they were usually excluded from further analyses. The results of our study(More)
The large post-reproductive life span reported for the free-living hermaphroditic nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans, which lives for about 10 days after its 5-day period of self-reproduction, seems at odds with evolutionary theory. Species with long post-reproductive life spans such as mammals are sometimes explained by a need for parental care or transfer(More)
Exposure to mild heat-stress (heat-shock) can significantly increase the life expectancy of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. A single heat-shock early in life extends longevity by 20% or more and affects life-long mortality by decreasing initial mortality only; the rate of increase in subsequent mortality (Gompertz component) is unchanged. Repeated mild(More)
Demographic profiles of several single-gene longevity mutants of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans reveal segmental (age-specific) effects on mortality. The mortality profiles of wild-type worms were examined across multiple replicate cultures containing 100,000 or more nematodes and found to be quite replicable, although clear environmental effects are(More)