Thu May 11 03:11:42 EST 1995

In our recent discussion about terminology in ageing research I have 
suggested to use neutral terms for 
the stages of cell division. The argumentation was that 'immortal' is,
strictly speaking, an unscientific term, and that the term 'senescence' 
is used by scientists on ageing that are working with cell cultures in a 
completely different manner than other scientists 
working in the field of ageing. Moreover, I argued, the term 'senescence'
used by the cell biologists seems to contain a circular argument.
Both Andy Groves and Oliver Bogler have responded to this. Oliver says
that only lay-people use the terms differently, but actually all 
biologists outside the cell-culture/senescence field do. 
Neither Andy nor Oliver have responded to the point of circular reasoning
I put forward.
I agree that the terms are well defined, and therefore serve their 
purpose for the workers in the cell culture field. Great confusion seems, 
however, to arise when these terms are used for communication outside this 
relatively small field within the biological sciences.   
     Wouter G. van Doorn
     ATO-DLO, Wageningen, The Netherlands

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