Single vs Multicellular aging question

Derek Law dlaw at
Fri Dec 22 06:39:36 EST 2000

Single cell organisms have a circular chromosome with no telomeres. The
chromosome is replicated and a new copy passed onto the to daughter cells
during cell division. Each copy is identical to the parent chromosomes,
there are no telomeres so the cells can divide ad infinitum ,as long as
there are nutrients, and no deleterious mutations creep in.

Derek Law

Company Microbiologist


purphekt3 <purphekt at> wrote in message
news:CMe06.17420$A06.609110 at
> I am not sure if this is the correct group to propose this question to,
> I need to start somewhere. As I understand, as multi-cellular animals cell
> divide to reproduce, the ends of the telomeres shorten. In other words,
> cell line ages. After a finite number of divisions the cell can no-longer
> make accurate healthy daughter cells. I believe this was brought up with
> cloning news of Dolly the sheep. If this is true then how is it single
> animals can continue to make copies of it self without dividing the
> into oblivion?  I have asked a geneticist in the department where I work,
> but he could not seem to come up with an answer.  Have I "stumped the
> experts" or is this a question someone somewhere is pondering in a
> lab?
> --
> Thank You
> J Ventimiglia

More information about the Microbio mailing list