Saturday, August 13 • 1:50pm - 2:30pm
Age-dependent Patterns of Adaptation to Diet in _Drosophila melanogaster_

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A variety of anthropologists and physicians claim that the health of present-day humans would be enhanced by reversion to “Paleo” diets. Against them, a few assert that long-agricultural populations are well-adapted to agricultural diets, due to the speed with which natural selection can fashion effective adaptations to novel diets. But theoretical analysis based on Hamilton’s forces of natural selection suggests that both might be wrong: populations might adapt to a novel environment quickly at early ages, but only slowly and incompletely at later adult ages. Experimental tests for age-dependent adaptation to a novel diet were performed on populations of _Drosophila melanogaster_. The results support the Hamiltonian hypothesis with populations performing better on their ancestral or long-standing diet, compared to an evolutionarily recent diet, only at later ages. These findings suggest that humans could revert to an ancestral diet at later ages to alleviate age-specific related diseases. However, at early ages, long-agricultural human populations might be best able to achieve reasonable health on an agricultural diet.

avatar for Grant Rutledge

Grant Rutledge

MS, Ph.D Candidate, University of California, Irvine
Grant A. Rutledge, M.S. is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at University of California, Irvine. Grant's research focus is Evolutionary Biology of diet, aging and mismatch. He manages a team of researchers in the Rose and Mueller Lab at the University... Read More →

Saturday August 13, 2016 1:50pm - 2:30pm MDT

Attendees (4)