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Thursday, June 23, 2016

Fourth Phase Of Life Discovered

Can We Predict When We Will Die?

Scientists Can Already Foresee Which Day Flies Will Die On

Colin Barras | June 22, 2016

[...] Until about 25 years ago biologists assumed there were just two fundamental phases of life: childhood and adulthood. This is a division we can all recognise. Childhood is characterised by rapid growth and development, a stage before we are sexually mature. During the phase, the likelihood of dying is constantly low.
[...] In the early 1990s researchers realised there was more to life than this. They identified a third phase of life that the very oldest members of our society pass through: “late life”.
[...] It was a universal feature of life, a new fourth phase that was distinct from either childhood, adulthood or late life. Mueller and Rose called it the “death spiral”.


<more at; related articles and links: (Does Aging Stop? Laurence D. Mueller, Casandra L. Rauser, and Michael R. Rose. "Shatters the conventional paradigms and beliefs on which aging research has been based for the last fifty years. Provides new foundations for the scientific study of aging." Published 2011) and (Slowing of mortality rates at older ages in large medfly cohorts. J.R. Carey, P. Liedo, D. Orozco, and J.W. Vaupel. Science, 1992 Oct 16;258(5081):457-61. [Abstract: It is generally assumed for most species that mortality rates increase monotonically at advanced ages. Mortality rates were found to level off and decrease at older ages in a population of 1.2 million medflies maintained in cages of 7,200 and in a group of approximately 48,000 adults maintained in solitary confinement. Thus, life expectancy in older individuals increased rather than decreased with age. These results cast doubt on several central concepts in gerontology and the biology of aging: (i) that senescence can be characterized by an increase in age-specific mortality, (ii) that the basic pattern of mortality in nearly all species follows the same unitary pattern at older ages, and (iii) that species have absolute life-span limits.]>

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