Why We Die, Why We Live: A New Theory on Aging

July 21, 2003 | Source: New York Times

A new theory of aging based on parental care explains why mortality is high among infants but rapidly drops: mutations that cause death late in childhood, when much has been invested, are removed more quickly from a population than are mutations that cause death in infancy. The theory can also explain the reduction of mortality after menopause: women care for children and contribute to their survival.