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Dinosaurs and the Aging Puzzle Could Humans Have Lived for 200 Years?

by EJ_Team
0 comment 3 minutes read

In a groundbreaking study, microbiologist Joao Pedro de Magalhaes from the University of Birmingham proposes a fascinating hypothesis if not for the dominance of dinosaurs on Earth millions of years ago, humans might have enjoyed lifespans of up to 200 years. Let’s explore the intriguing insights behind the “longevity bottleneck” hypothesis and its implications for the human aging process.

The Long Shadow of Dinosaurs

De Magalhaes highlights a stark difference in the aging process between mammals, particularly humans, and reptiles and amphibians. The key factor, he suggests, is the prolonged dominance of dinosaurs during a critical period in mammalian evolution. As dinosaurs ruled the Earth, smaller mammals were compelled to adapt quickly for survival, favoring rapid reproduction over longer lifespans.

The “Longevity Bottleneck” Hypothesis

During the age of dinosaurs, early mammals, restricted to the bottom of the food chain, underwent intense evolutionary pressure to reproduce rapidly. De Magalhaes proposes that this prolonged period of pressure influenced the discarded genes responsible for longer lifespans. The hypothesis posits that as mammals adapted to a world dominated by dinosaurs, they sacrificed longevity for the imperative of swift reproduction.

Genetic Loss and Skin Repair

The research delves into the genetic makeup of ancient mammalian ancestors, specifically in the eutherian mammal lineage. It suggests that certain enzymes, including those responsible for repairing UV damage to the skin, were lost during the era of dinosaurs. This loss may have contributed to the absence of key enzymes, like photolyases, in modern-day mammals, potentially impacting their ability to repair UV damage.

Nocturnal Adaptations and Sun Cream

To survive the era dominated by dinosaurs, some mammals likely adopted nocturnal behaviors, attempting to avoid predation. However, this adaptation may have come at a cost, leading to further genetic loss. De Magalhaes suggests that the loss of genetic information related to skin repair may explain why certain mammals, including humans, now rely on external interventions like sun cream to mitigate UV damage.

Intriguing Avenues and Cancer Hypothesis

While the “longevity bottleneck” hypothesis is currently speculative, it opens intriguing avenues for research. De Magalhaes suggests that the rapid aging process in mammals, influenced by the dinosaur-dominated era, could be linked to higher cancer frequencies. This hypothesis prompts further exploration into the interplay between evolutionary pressures, genetic adaptations, and modern-day health challenges.

Jotting it down

The intersection of paleontology, genetics, and microbiology unveils a captivating narrative of how the dominance of dinosaurs may have shaped the trajectory of human aging. De Magalhaes’ hypothesis sparks curiosity about the intricate dance of evolution and the mysteries concealed within our genetic code. As scientists delve deeper into this enthralling proposition, the story of human longevity takes on new dimensions, resonating with the echoes of a distant, dinosaur-dominated past.

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Education Journalist endeavours to bring this forward to mentor individuals or an organization and use their learning and experiences to pave their path.

 

contact@educationjournalist.com

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