Re: longevity

J. R. Molloy (
Fri, 19 Nov 1999 22:07:47 -0800

Curt Adams wrote,
>This has been proposed many, many times but it doesn't hold water. A mutant
>allele that doesn't kill its owner early will eliminate the killer gene. It
>gets any benefits of accelerated evolution, because it's in the same species,
>plus its carriers live longer and have more offspring. It's the old
>principle of group selection; a group benefit allele can only have
>negligeable costs to individuals possessing it.

Thank you for the information. Apparently, modifying the genes of mice can extend their life span. If identical modification happened as a result of mutation rather than engineering, would the mutant individual have a biological advantage? Could such a mutation occur naturally in millions of years of mice generations? --J. R.