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The Accumulation Theory of Ageing

Grüning, A and PG, AV (2011) The Accumulation Theory of Ageing Preprint.

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Lifespan distributions of populations of quite diverse species such as humans and yeast seem to surprisingly well follow the same empirical Gompertz-Makeham law, which basically predicts an exponential increase of mortality rate with age. This empirical law can for example be grounded in reliability theory when individuals age through the random failure of a number of redundant essential functional units. However, ageing and subsequent death can also be caused by the accumulation of "ageing factors", for example noxious metabolic end products or genetic anomalities, such as self-replicating extra-chromosomal DNA in yeast. We first show how Gompertz-Makeham behaviour arises when ageing factor accumulation follows a deterministic self-reinforcing process. We go then on to demonstrate that such a deterministic process is a good approximation of the underlying stochastic accumulation of ageing factors where the stochastic model can also account for old-age levelling off of mortality rate.

Item Type: Article
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Divisions: Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences > Computing Science
Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited: 14 Dec 2011 11:15
Last Modified: 16 Jul 2013 13:33

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