HDE 117 Lecture 5: HDE117 - L5
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Department
Human Development
Course Code
HDE 117
Professor
James Carey

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Lecture 5 I. Biology and Demography – Biodemography Hierarchical Paradigm (nested hierarchies): A. Introduction: Experimental Biodemography 1. Multidisciplinary Paradigm Demography a. Demography Anthropology b. Anthropology Primatology 2. Interdisciplinary Research Questions: Evolutionary biology Genetics a. Are there specific limits to lifespan? Primatology b. Do females outlive males under all circumstances? c. What is the relationship of healthspan to lifespan? d. How does reproduction affect longevity? B. Vocabulary 1. Epistemology – scientific study of how (scientific) knowledge is acquired 2. Paradigm* – an entire constellation of beliefs, value, and techniques shared by the members of a given scientific community; referred to as ‘normal science’; Includes: a. What it is to be observed and scrutinized c. How these questions are structured b. The kind of questions to be asked d. How the results of investigation interpreted 3. Disciplinary Research: a. Intra-disciplinary – within a field b. Multidisciplinary – two fields come together to exchange tools or ideas c. Interdisciplinary – whole new concepts emerged from the marriage of two (or more) disciplines 4. Biodemography – the study of the influence of biological factors on demographic patterns of human populations or populations of other sexually reproducing species a. Biological factors on demographic patterns include those relating to fertility, health, aging, longevity b. Carey’s definition: an area of interdisciplinary research in which principles of both biology and demography are integrated and brought to bear on questions concerned with aging, reproduction, and health in humans but which include the use of model (non-human animal) systems 5. Subdivisions: a. Biological biodemography (mostly animal research): Evolution; Ecology; Behavior b. Biomedical biodemography (mostly human research): Healthy aging; Geriatrics-related C. Animal Models in Aging Research 1. 6 Most Common Animal Organisms Used in Aging Research: Yeast Zebra fish Nematode (worm) Lab mouse Fruit fly Rhesus monkey 2. Biology of Finitude – Three Primitive Questions* fall in different domains * a. Why do we live as long as we do? i. [Ultimate question: an evolutionary question; has to do with function] – live long enough to reproduce b. Why do we age? i. [Proximate question: physiology question; has to do with mechanisms] c. Why do we die? i. [Closure question: death domain] 3. Goal: To provide enough information about common aging research models to help non- biologists assess their utility and relevance with respect to alterations in human health span 4. Over 90% of animal studies on the basic biology of aging involves three species: worm, fly, and mouse 5. Conserved Mechanisms – At each level of initial organism to the current organism; you build from what already exists; you conserve the basic body concept a. Depending on where in the hierarchy it is, you pick the model that will bear what is needed 6. Similarities Amount Animal Species Used in Aging Research: a. All are domesticated (altered from ancestral form) b. All are short lived compared to non-domesticated relatives D. Worms (Nematodes) 1. Nematodes (roundworms) a. Numerous i
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