Friday, September 29, 2023
Mitochondrial Health

Evolution of aging – could it be adaptive? – Peter Lidsky

In this video I chat with Peter Lidsky, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), where he works on his interests in the role of viruses in aging and evolution.
Before that, Peter studied enteroviruses and then moved to Switzerland, where he joined the laboratory of Christian Lehner at the University of Zurich. There, he switched his focus to Drosophila melanogaster, a model organism for studying gene regulation and development. In 2017, Lidsky moved to the US and joined the laboratory of Raul Andino at UCSF. He has been involved in several projects but here we chat predominantly about his ‘Pathogen Control Strategy’ to explain why aging evolved.

Peter’s Twitter:
Find me on Twitter –

Support the channel
through PayPal –
through Patreon –

Intro – 00:00
Aging as a paradox – 02:30
Theories of aging – 03:45
Pathogen control strategy – 09:30
Advice – 47:00

Please note that The Sheekey Science Show is distinct from Eleanor Sheekey’s teaching and research roles at the University of Cambridge. The information provided in this show is not medical advice, nor should it be taken or applied as a replacement for medical advice. The Sheekey Science Show and guests assume no liability for the application of the information discussed.

Icons in intro; “”Background vector created by freepik –


Similar Posts

8 thoughts on “Evolution of aging – could it be adaptive? – Peter Lidsky
  1. The comparison between rats and squirrels was interesting as they are both rodents and about the same size. Would a detailed side by side comparison of their DNA show the differences that lead to the age limit differences?

  2. If aging is adaptive then you need to do the reverse of that by consistently unadapting… by doing things your unaccustomed to doing …. 😂🤣👍

  3. I think aging probably is adaptive. In a world of scarce resources, it's not efficient to allocate resources to members of the tribe/pack/herd that are no longer reproducing or rearing offspring (the sole "purpose" of any species.) Once the members of a generation have had and reared children to adulthood, they are essentially worthless for the survival and evolution of the species. This is probably why the average lifespan of most of our ancestors was only 30-40 years; just long enough to have and raise children, and then die so that scant resources aren't wasted on them. This theory holds up when looking at longest lived animals, which are typically loners and/or living in nutrient rich environments and/or can go very long periods without food. If resources are plentiful and/or if an animal doesn't need much to survive and reproduce, then there's no reason to kill the parent/grandparent generations off quickly.

  4. Dr. Lidsky should take a ride a few miles north of San Francisco and look in awe at the Redwood trees some of which are 3000 years old and some may be as many as 4000 years old. Cancer cells when continuously fed seem to be immortal. Perhaps aging leading to death is a genetic defect that appeared early in the evolution of life. I think it would be far more interesting to investigate the process of aging, its root cause and to engineer means to stop it and reverse it to our healthiest point of devopment and stay there indefinitely. If anyone succeeds it will put actuaries out of business.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *