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Lecture 4

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University of Guelph
BIOL 1090
Andrew Bendall

Bio*1080 Lecture 4 Scaling in biological systems Previously introduced scaling in the dimension of size/shape i.e. biomolecules to biosphere intracellular networks to social networks  Another way in which biological systems are scaled is from the dimension of time  Scale 1: growth development and aging: life as trajectory (years, decades)  Scale 2: maintenance and repair: life as rhythms (days,weeks,months)  Scale 3: homeostasis: life as balance (seconds, minutes)  Scale 4: action potentials and enzyme catalyst: life as energy and information flow (milliseconds, microseconds) Healthspan vs. lifespan  Most research is designed to find the desired healthspan  Maximizing lifespan is a goal of some?  Various attitudes, and practices around the world  Moral, ethical and religious implications, futurists on the fringe of science  How long do I have to live (lifespan)  How much longer will I be living a healthy, independent lifestyle (healthspan)  Predicting lifespan, risk assessment (preventive medicine, insurance companies) Impacts to health disease and aging  Genetics  Environment  Lifestyle and health behaviors  Health, the level of physical activity and exercise, the level of education, cholesterol, smoking, exams by physician, diet, depression, and risks taken can all affect lifespan by either cutting or expanding lifespan How do we recognize the aging and disease process?  If we can find things to measure objectively, then we can track the aging process  We can refer to these as “biomarkers” or indicators of the biological state of the organism  Hair, skin, posture, height? Height in infancy and childhood  Dramatic changes in height  Growth tables are important tools in assessing health early in life  Slow growth-infectious disease, malnutrition, hormonal problems  Fast growth-over nutrition, hormonal problems  Height plateaus when reaching adulthood  Bigger fast stronger DOES NOT MEAN BETTER HEALTH He
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