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San Diego State University

Experience Energy

The Preservation of Human Energy Through Aging


E = mc 2 Einstein’s iconic formula defines the theory of relativity. We think of this formula mainly in quantum physics and space exploration, but it also applies to our body. The theory specifies that a body that weighs say 68kg (150 lbs.) will have 6,111,535,215,410,359,952 Joules of energy. This is 6,111 Petajoules (PJ) translates to 1,697,500 Giga watt hour. In comparison, 31.5 PJ is the electrical output of a large gigawatt power plant for a year, while 210 PJ is equivalent to about 50 megatons of TNT. This is the amount of energy released by the thirty Russian Tsar Bomba, the largest man-made hydrogen bomb every created.


One person is a walking universe of restrained energy. We can only access a small percentage of this energy so most of this energy remains inaccessible. But our biology does know how to utilize some of this energy and more importantly our body balances our energy needs. One way that it uses energy is by storing it in fat, but there are other means to conserve energy and through the study aging, we are learning what the body does. This talk discusses how aging conserves energy. We will cover theoretical concepts involving Hormesis, Caloric Restriction, Epigenetics, Antagonistic Pleiotropy, Disposable Soma and other theoretical constructs from the wealth of gerontology to explore how humans utilize and conserve energy as they age. In the end the ability of the body to preserve energy might be negated by our negative behavior.


Event Details:


Title: The Preservation of Human Energy through Aging


Date: October 21, 2015


Time: Noon to 1 PM


Location: Scripps Cottage


Faculty Lecture by: Professor Mario D Garrett, School of Social Work

Round Glasses