In article <grun-0311951737450001 at redbud.botany.duke.edu>, grun at acpub.duke.edu says...
>>While death may be an inevitable consequence of being an error prone
>system, the actual lifespan of a organisms is indeed an evolved trait
>refelcting primarily the level of DNA repair as well as telomerase. Th
>question posed in this thread then returns to what is the selective
>advantage of limiting the lifespan of an individual.
Could the answer to this be from a result of natural selection?
As an organism ages, the mistakes made in DNA synthesis will
acculmulate and have to be either repaired or compensated for. If
an organism has only a finite amount of energy available to it for things
like reproduction survival etc, wouldn't there be a point at which the
energy cost of the repairs would render the organism reproductively
useless (that is any future attempts at reproduction wouldhave a high
probability of failure)? Could nature select for organisms that die at
this age, as any continuation of life would be useless?