Please read the following references on aging. I have also attached a couple of optional readings which I will describe below:
1. Age-old-question Flatt T and Promislow EL. 2007. Science (318) 1255-1256.
2. Why do we age? Kirkwood Austad Nature 2000
3. Evolution of the human menopause Shanley DP and Kirkwood TB. 2001 Bioessays 23. 282-287.
4. Williams. Pleiotropy, Natural Selection, and the Evolution of Senescence. Evolution, 1957.
Optional additional references for discussion (not about aging)
1.Alcock_Franklin_Kuzawa Nutrient signaling: Evolutionary Origins of the immune modulating effects of dietary fat. Quarterly Review of Biology.Vol. 87, No. 3 (September 2012), pp. 187-223
2. Alcock 2012 Why evolution matters for emergency physicians
Some suggest that menopause evolved because grandmothers are more successful at passing on their genes by investing in grandchildren than in more babies of their own. Others argue that menopause is a consequence of modern medicine prolonging the lifespan of women past 60 when most pre-historic women would be dead. So in the past reproductive aging would have been in sync with aging of the rest of the body. In this view menopause reflects the early mortality in pre-history and is a gene-environment mismatch. Argue for either the “grandmother hypothesis” or the “artificial lifespan prolongation” hypothesis.