PerspectiveAging

A time to grow and a time to pause

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Science  21 Feb 2020:
Vol. 367, Issue 6480, pp. 851-852
DOI: 10.1126/science.aba8064

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Summary

Seasonal or environmental pressures are sometimes best dealt with by putting growth and reproduction on hold. Many animals have evolved mechanisms for reversibly arresting development at discrete developmental stages, so that the arrested embryo or larva can wait for more favorable conditions in which to resume development, grow, and reproduce. One common form of developmental arrest is diapause, which generally constitutes a genetically programmed arrest at a discrete point in development, most often in an embryonic, larval, or pupal stage (1). Diapause also involves physiological changes that protect the arrested animal from aging. On page 870 of this issue, Hu et al. (2) identify some of the mechanisms that maintain embryonic diapause in an emerging model of vertebrate aging, the African turquoise killifish. These findings might provide insight into the mysteries of aging and longevity.

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