The Essence of Aging

Jan Vijg, Brian K. Kennedy

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


The idea that aging is a purposeful, programmed series of events is intuitively appealing based on its many conserved aspects and the demonstrated feasibility of modifying life span by manipulating single genes or pathways. Yet, the case for a nonadaptive basis of aging is strong and now all but generally accepted in the field. Here, we briefly review why the case for programmed aging is weak, with a focus on the lack of possible evolutionary beneficial effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)381-385
Number of pages5
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 15 2016


  • Adaptive theories
  • Antagonistic pleiotropy
  • Dietary restriction
  • Programmed aging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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