Aubrey de Grey ag24 at mole.bio.cam.ac.uk
Sun Nov 7 10:45:14 EST 1999

"private" wrote:

> Hi, this has probably already been discusses, but I heard that
> lobsters never die of old age,  they just keep growing until they  are
> eaten.  Is that true?

It's not possible to prove that they don't age, because one must work
with what aging means in terms of acceleration of mortality, so in
order to be sure that a species doesn't age one must study an infinitely
large sample.  What we can say is that the studies done so far have not
detected a statistically significant acceleration of mortality with age.

Lobsters are not unique in this.  I recommend Tuck Finch's "Longevity,
Senescence and the Genome" - published in 1990, but still authoritative.
Alternatively search Medline with "negligible senescence" -- this is a
lot more laborious than it used to be since Medline no longer does bona
fide phrase searching.  (Or does it?  Hints gratefully received.)

Aubrey de Grey

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