Sexual reproduction delays aging in a mammalian species
Past research on aging and the life histories of diverse species has
shown that sexual reproduction is biologically costly for individuals
and tends to decrease lifespan rather than increase it. But a new study
by Philip Dammann and Hynek Burda from the University of Duisburg-Essen
shows that, in a vertebrate species, the opposite can be true as well.
These findings provide unexpected new information for understanding the
evolution of life histories, and they shed new light on the old
question of the connection between sexual activity and aging.
Furthermore, as the authors argue, Cryptomys anselli could become a
valuable new model organism for the study of the mechanisms that
underlie aging, since this species offers the rare opportunity to study
differential aging rates among individuals possessing the same genes
and experiencing the same environmental conditions, apparently
differing only in the aspect of pair-bonding and engaging in sexual
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