The symmetry of longevity

Lawrence G. Harshman, Hans Georg Müller, Xueli Liu, Yue Wang, James R. Carey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


We tested the hypothesis that relatively symmetrical flies live longer. Vein measurements on the left and right wings from the same individual were used to characterize bilateral symmetry in relationship to age-specific survival in defined cohorts. A longitudinal cohort study supported the hypothesis of a correlation between bilateral symmetry and longevity. For another type of experiment, wings were removed from females and males at approximately the beginning of adult life. Thus, there would be no effect of wings per se on adult survival. These wings were measured to characterize bilateral asymmetry, and the day of death of each dewinged individual was determined. Wing symmetry of females and males proved to be a statistically significant predictor of life span, especially for males.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1233-1237
Number of pages5
JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series A Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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