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A Mother of orangutan  and her little son (few month) at Semenggoh NP in Sarawak Borneo

qBio Seminar Series: Joseph Kemnitz

Event Details

When: March 8, 2017, 2:00 PM

Location: 3rd Floor Orchard View Room , Discovery Building

Contact: 608-316-4401, hstampfli@wisc.edu

Joseph Kemnitz

Joseph Kemnitz

What is aging and can it be slowed in primates?

Increasing chronological age in adulthood is typically associated with declining function and the onset of various chronic diseases. Advances in medicine and public health (e.g., antibiotics, vaccines) and personal behavior (e.g., improved hygiene, avoidance of tobacco products) have mitigated some of the challenges of later life and markedly increased life expectancy, but maximum lifespan of humans seems to have changed little in all of recorded history. Can the length of life without disease be extended further? Can ultimate lifespan increased? Studies of various models organisms, including worms, fish, and mice, suggest that both health span and lifespan can be extended by limiting energy intake. As studies of mechanisms underlying this phenomenon continue, there is also the question of whether these results will be applicable to humans. Rhesus macaques represent a model that is much closer to our own species and are very useful for translating basic science to clinical application. Accordingly, we have been studying normative aging in rhesus monkeys and evaluating the effects of moderate calorie restriction during adulthood on age-related disease and length of life. Maintained under controlled conditions with healthy diets, these monkeys develop cancer, cardiac disease,
musculoskeletal disorders, and brain changes in a manner that is very similar to humans. Calorie restriction has reduced the incidence, delayed the onset and decreased the severity of most deleterious changes in aging monkeys, and it has increased their life expectancy. These findings suggest conservation of physiological mechanisms from simpler model system to primates, including humans. Further study of these mechanisms will provide insights into ways to maintain health and enhance quality of life.

All qBio sponsored talks take place on Wednesdays at 2:00 p.m. in the 3rd floor Orchard View room of the Discovery Building unless otherwise noted. Talks are open to the public. Access to the room is via the elevator behind Aldo’s Cafe in the Northeast corner of the building.