DNA Methylation Age in Primate Models of Aging
This pilot award study utilizes the Amboseli Baboon Project DNA samples and data to examine how epigenetic changes—particularly DNA methylation patterns—encode early life effects on later life phenotypes. The Amboseli baboon population is the subject of this decades long longitudinal study and it is an emerging model for biodemographic and genomic research. Early life effects are well established in this population, including maternal effects, life environment impact growth rates, maturation timing, steroid hormone physiology and gene expression.
This study employs these findings, along with existing data on social and ecological environmental variation, to investigate the relationship between early environmental effects and DNA methylation measures in adulthood. The resulting data on DNA methylation patterns in the baboons provides an important component to the study of human population across generations, offering valuable insight into improving human health during development and aging.