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What evidence for "non-aging" species?

x011 at Lehigh.EDU x011 at Lehigh.EDU
Thu Mar 16 10:43:41 EST 1995

In article <D7MavAKOBh107h at chambers.ak.planet.co.nz>, steve at chambers.ak.planet.c
o.nz (Steve Chambers) writes:
>I wrote:
>>> I'm just reviewing "How and Why We Age" by Leonard Hayflick.  In
>>> Chapter 2, with reference to the tortoise, lobster, flounder etc.
>>> he states:
>>>   Unlike us, [these] animals that do not age have the SAME chance of
>>>   dying every year after sexual maturation.
>>> He offers no reference for this statement and I personally find it
>>> hard to accept.  Can anyone point me to a study of any such species
>>> which shows a constant age-independant mortality rate?
>A personal correspondent replied:
>> Have a look at Finch's 1990 tome.  (e.g. p.220--cites Gibbons 1987.
>> Bioscience 37:262-269).  Seems like a true statement.
>Thanks for this.  A quick review of Caleb Finch's "Longevity , Senescence
>and the Genome", however shows that he's not a believer in non-aging
>species.  Finch uses the terms "gradual senescence" and "negligable
>senescence" to describe aging in such species.
>Perhaps I should, at this stage, point out that there ARE species that
>evidence suggests don't senesce.  But is it because they just don't age
>or is it because they die too soon to show it? (for whatever reason.)
>Without question, Hayflick is suggesting the former.  Finch, on the
>other hand, sits on the fence but is clearly falling toward the latter.
>On page 220 of LS&G Finch says "No mortality acceleration with age is
>shown in three turtles," but "up to the population maximum ages of
>15 to 25 years."  Few turtles live much longer than this, and given
>their low level of metabolic activity it's certainly too short a span
>to conclude that they don't age.
> ________________________
>(I_lurk,_therefore_I_am!_\ ,,,                    Steve Chambers
>                          (o o)   steve at chambers.ak.planet.co.nz
In an article in Scientific American on the very old, it reported that
after 80 that there was no relationship between old age and high death
rates in humans.  It seems that we should work on ways to keep everyone
health as possible.  Some should keep going a long time with little
sign of advance aging.  There biology could give us clues on how to
help everyone.
Ron Blue

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