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What accounts for the wide variation in life span of genetically identical organisms reared in a constant environment?

Lookup NU author(s): Emeritus Professor Thomas Kirkwood


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Individual organisms show marked variability in life span, even when they are of the same genotype and are raised in a common environment protected from extrinsic hazards. This intrinsic variability of life span is thought to arise from the stochastic nature of the cellular and molecular mechanisms controlling development and ageing. In this article we review what is currently understood about the factors underlying the variability of life span and consider the implications for research that aims to improve the predictability of health in old age. © 2004 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Kirkwood TBL, Feder M, Finch CE, Franceschi C, Globerson A, Klingenberg CP, LaMarco K, Omholt S, Westendorp RGJ

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Mechanisms of Ageing and Development

Year: 2005

Volume: 126

Issue: 3

Pages: 439-443

Print publication date: 01/03/2005

ISSN (print): 0047-6374

ISSN (electronic): 1872-6216

Publisher: Elsevier


DOI: 10.1016/j.mad.2004.09.008

PubMed id: 15664632


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Funder referenceFunder name
BEP17042Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council