Santa Fe Institute Collaboration Platform

COMPLEX TIME: Adaptation, Aging, & Arrow of Time

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Contact: Caitlin Lorraine McShea, Program Manager,

Hallmarks of Biological Failure/Models in Aging: Two Examples

From Complex Time

April 8, 2019
1:30 pm - 2:00 pm


Shripad Tuljapurkar (Stanford)


I discuss approaches to two problems on very different timescales. For a single lifetime, transitions between states of health (disability) can be viewed as stochastic movement out of a potential with two minima. Aging can mean changes in the amplitude of noise, depth of potential, or width of potential. Such dynamics are conceptually similar to the disability transition in current medical understanding. What are the math features? Can we make this into a statistical model? On evolutionary timescales, post-reproductive life can evolve according to varipus arguments that are all examples of “borrowed fitness.” I explain what this means and mainly ask what questions we should be asking.    

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