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Successful Aging in the Forest: How wild chimpanzees can help us understand the evolution of human aging

This conversation was led by Melissa Emery Thompson, Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of New Mexico. Recent research has revealed that despite shorter life expectancies, humans in small-scale subsistence populations exhibit surprisingly good health, suggesting that some debilitating diseases of aging may be novel products of industrialized environments. This research highlights an urgency to look deeper in our evolutionary past to understand how we age today. Emery Thompson discussed emerging findings from the first longitudinal study to examine aging in our closest evolutionary relatives, chimpanzees, in their natural environment.

After the talk, perspectives on how the research applies in a clinical setting were presented by Arun Karlamangla, Professor of Medicine with a specialty in geriatric medicine at UCLA.

Melissa Emery Thompson in a Zoom meeting Arun Karlamangla in a Zoom meeting

Resources discussed:

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