Organism Longevity and Basal Metabolic Rate
In allometric scaling, maximum potential life span (MPLS) is directly related to metabolic rate (MR), where MR is the recharge rate of a biomass made up of covalent bonds. That biomass (W) is subjected to deterioration over time from thermodynamic, entropic pressure. Metabolism is essentially understood as redox coupling, and has nothing to do with thermogenesis. Metabolic efficiency (ME) is then expressed as the efficiency of this coupling, a ratio of amperes captured and used by biomass, to the amperes available for that purpose. MR is measured in watts, W is measured in grams. These factors are combined in a power law, an elaboration on Kleiber's law relating MR to W and MPLS, that appears as MR = W^ (4ME-1)/4ME. When ME is 100%, MR = W^3/4; this is popularly known as quarter power scaling, a version of allometric scaling that is premised upon unrealistic estimates of biological efficiency.
The equation reveals that as ME drops below 20%, for W < one gram, MR/MPLS increases so dramatically as to endow W with virtual immortality by 16%. The smaller W is to begin with, the more dramatic is the increase in MR as ME diminishes. All of the cells of an organism fit into this range, i.e., less than one gram, and so this MR will be referred to as BMR.
But the equation reveals that as ME increases over 25%, BMR approaches zero. The equation also shows that for all W > one gram, where W is the organization of all of the BMRs of the organism's structure, but also includes the activity of the structure, as ME increases over 25%, MR/MPLS increases rather than decreases, as it does for BMR. An MR made up of an organization of BMRs will be referred to as an FMR. As ME decreases below 25%, FMR diminishes rather than increases as it does for BMR.
The antagonism between FMR and BMR is what marks the process of aging of biomass W in energetic terms. The ME for the organism is the same as that for the cells, such that the success of the organism's ability to find food (and lower its ME), is key to maintaining the BMR of the cells driven, otherwise, by starvation, to approaching zero; while at the same time a lower ME diminishes the FMR/MPLS of the organism.
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