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Another stage of development: Biological degeneracy and the study of bodily ageing

Mason, Paul H; Maleszka, Ryszard; Dominguez, Juan F

Description

Ageing is a poorly understood process of human development mired by a scientific approach that struggles to piece together distributed variable factors involved in ongoing transformations of living systems. Reconfiguring existing research paradigms, we review the concept of ‘degeneracy’, which has divergent popular and technical definitions. The technical meaning of degeneracy refers to the structural diversity underlying functional plasticity. Degeneracy is a distributed system property that...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorMason, Paul H
dc.contributor.authorMaleszka, Ryszard
dc.contributor.authorDominguez, Juan F
dc.date.accessioned2021-05-10T00:31:30Z
dc.identifier.issn0047-6374
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/232549
dc.description.abstractAgeing is a poorly understood process of human development mired by a scientific approach that struggles to piece together distributed variable factors involved in ongoing transformations of living systems. Reconfiguring existing research paradigms, we review the concept of ‘degeneracy’, which has divergent popular and technical definitions. The technical meaning of degeneracy refers to the structural diversity underlying functional plasticity. Degeneracy is a distributed system property that can be observed within individual brains or across different brains. For example, dementias with similar behavioural anomalies can result from a diverse range of cellular “faults”, which is an example of degeneracy because the symptoms are similar in spite of different underlying mechanisms. Degeneracy is a valuable epistemological tool that can transformatively enhance scientific models of bodily ageing. We propose that movement science is one of the first areas that can productively integrate degeneracy into models of bodily ageing. We also propose model organisms such as eusocial honey bees in which degeneracy can be studied at the molecular and cellular level. Developing a vocabulary for thinking about how distributed variable factors are interlinked is important if we are to understand bodily ageing not as a single entity, but as the heterogeneous construction of changing biological, social, and environmental processes.
dc.format.mimetypeapplication/pdf
dc.language.isoen_AU
dc.publisherElsevier BV
dc.rights© 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd
dc.sourceMechanisms of Ageing and Development
dc.subjectDegeneracy
dc.subjectAgeing
dc.subjectComplexity
dc.subjectResilience
dc.subjectSocial inclusion
dc.subjectHuman lifespan
dc.subjectEusocial insects
dc.titleAnother stage of development: Biological degeneracy and the study of bodily ageing
dc.typeJournal article
local.description.notesImported from ARIES
local.identifier.citationvolume163
dc.date.issued2017
local.identifier.absfor060699 - Physiology not elsewhere classified
local.identifier.ariespublicationa383154xPUB4758
local.publisher.urlhttps://www.elsevier.com/en-au
local.type.statusPublished Version
local.contributor.affiliationMason, Paul H, University of Sydney
local.contributor.affiliationMaleszka, Ryszard, College of Science, ANU
local.contributor.affiliationDominguez, Juan F, Monash University
local.description.embargo2099-12-31
local.bibliographicCitation.startpage46
local.bibliographicCitation.lastpage51
local.identifier.doi10.1016/j.mad.2016.12.007
dc.date.updated2020-11-23T10:11:43Z
local.identifier.scopusID2-s2.0-85009380169
local.identifier.thomsonID000401887300009
CollectionsANU Research Publications

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