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ANT208 Lec 6

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Dan Sellen

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ANT208 Lec 6 VULNERABILITIES OVER THE LIFE COURSE Growth, Development and Aging  3 things to think about: o Childhood phase broadly defines and remains from conception to sexual maturity (growth) o Later health issues (Development) o Process after growth and development -> senescence  Senescence ties in with aging; seems to be pushed to later part of life span  Form framework for health to be created or destroyed  Structure of life history seems to be adaptive  What’s different about humans/ How involve trade-offs with each other?  Tradeoffs in life history: Allocation (making decisions) o Can grow or reproduce, but not both; can maintain body’s health but come at cost for growth or reproduction o Decisions change at each life phase; set of allocations and decisions  1 phase -> childhood; children = key focus of health efforts o Length of human childhood unusually long; what for?  Realization by economists, politicians, etc.: 1 1000 days of human life critical for human development o Phases: gestation (time in utero), infancy (time spent dependent nutritionally on st others), early childhood (preschool years) = 1 1000 days, includes conception o If good development during this phase, lots of health benefits, income benefits, etc. later o If not, difficult to make up the deficits o Key transitions  Birth and weaning -> moving from mother’s milk to independent diet  Puberty -> onset of all physiological and behavioural aspects for potential for sexual reproduction  Growth -> acquisition in size of body parts; development = changes in integration of function  Brain growth and development; brains are important; evolution of human brain due to importance, eg. Growth of front end -> 1 form of vulnerability in life -> need to protect brain growth  Another vulnerability -> growth retardation in utero or stunting during early childhood; if fail to reach genetic height, become stunted individual -> correlated poor outcomes later in life o 2 vulnerabilities: brain development and physical growth Mechanisms of Genetic Evolution  Key of evolution -> changes across evolution; changes in gene freq., changes in proprtions of diff genes; many factors influencing change  1 produces adaptations, where gene affects phenotype, change bodies in development  Forces can cause evolution, but not adaptive evolution; not all evolution is adaptive o Some can be random -> gene flow, bottlenecks (animals at island, progeny have diff. genes) o Can have founder effects, genetic drifts o Set of factors that produce changes that aren’t adaptive; only things that change phenotypes are natural selection o Need to have mutations to add genes; causes variability o If producing heritable change in phenotype, have natural selection Evolutionary Medicine  Interested in aspects of human health that are adaptive  Focus on whether life history, do adaptations make sense?  Eg. Humans -> more interesting as compare to other creatures o Humans live slower and die later than similar-sized mammals, eg. Compared to chimps o Is this adaptive? Has change been driven by natural selection? What trade offs?  Humans have most relatives; chimps live in diff environment, but key: have diff life history  When did split b/w us and chimps occur? Nobody knows but estimate 5-7 mill. Years  1) standard childhood, 2) early sexual reproduction and menopause, 3) birth closer together  Humans have long nutritional dependency (in shared foraging sense); have long juvenile period (b/w meaning to sexual reproduction stage); have reduced sexual dimorphism (not lot of gender diff. b/w males and females); have female post reproductive phase caused by menopause; have high rate of offspring survival; recruit high amt of shared care; high parental care Human Life History as tradeoff decision for allocating b/w: Energy, growth, reproduction, activity, maintenance  Maintenance , reproduction and energy nutrients for activity  Before sexual maturation, called pre-adult; after occurred, adult  Illustrated shift in allocation decision; pre-adult grows (basically), longer term pay off to get bigger or grow faster, determines flux of nutrients/energy (not provided), nutrients/ energy dependent, now vulnerable; cost increases as more unpredictable  Another adaptation -> grow slowly, especially if low nutrient supplies  Ability of adults to extract resources, fuel faster than children  Main thing in phase + growth; when adult phase, 1) extract own nutrients, no parental help, 2) more decision-making to make, have offsprings w/ demands; diff b/w female and males = sol’n to children’s demands; body parts look diff; def’n of female = larger investment in offspring from pre-zygotic phase, produce eggs and gametes -> key fundamental diff  Whether male or female, all
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