CR and rate of maturation

James james at
Thu Oct 1 12:40:27 EST 1998

Aubrey de Grey wrote:
> In continuation of this thread:
> ADG>The mice used for typical CR
> ADG>experiments have been bred in captivity for many generations, and may
> ADG>therefore have been quite heavily selected for rapid maturation.

Permit me to ask a perhaps naive question, but I don't deal
with mice.  I don't understand all this conjecture (fact?)
that mice in the lab are bred for early reproduction (at
least any more so than in the wild).  Obviously I can see
why some strain that has been reproducing for a long time at
Jackson labs could be construed to have been selected in
such a manner since more prolific mothers and mothers that
breed at an earlier age might have a tendancy to take over
the population (but then again, they might not, it depends
on how they have their breeding scheme set up).  But that is
the case in the wild as well.  And, once outside of a
"commerical" environment I wouldn't think that the selection
even exists.  In the types of mouse experiments that I am
familiar with it wouldn't make any difference since when
they breed all progeny are kept, and the parents are simply
separated when they don't want any more mice.  Of course,
you could argue that the damage has already been done by
enduring a long period of time where this type of selection
might have been the case, and that not much drift is going
to occur to fix the problem in the few generations typical
of most experiments. I'll buy that 100%, but that doesn't
address the first issue.

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