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Journal Article

Evolution of Aging and Death: What Insights Bacteria Can Provide

Ulfat I. Baig, Bharati J. Bhadbhade and Milind G. Watve
The Quarterly Review of Biology
Vol. 89, No. 3 (September 2014), pp. 209-233
DOI: 10.1086/677572
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/677572
Page Count: 15
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Evolution of Aging and Death: What Insights Bacteria Can Provide
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Abstract

ABSTRACTSeveral unresolved issues, paradoxes, and information voids characterize the field of evolution of aging. The recent discovery of aging-like phenomenon in Escherichia coli, marked by asymmetric segregation of damaged components, particularly protein aggregates, has created a number of new possibilities that remain underexplored. Bacterial systems can potentially throw light on issues such as: whether evolution of aging and evolution of death are different phenomena; whether aging is inevitable for life or is an evolved strategy; whether there could be selection for aging or aging is a pleiotropic effect of some other selection; what are the possible mechanisms of antagonistic pleiotropy, if any; and whether there are mechanisms of aging that are conserved throughout the hierarchy of life. Bacterial aging itself is underexplored and least understood as of now, but even scratching the surface appears to reveal things that may compel us to revise some of the classical concepts about evolution of aging. This warrants more focused and innovative inquiry into aging-like processes in bacteria.

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