AGING Processes - Many? A Definition?

Andrew K. Groves grovesa at starbase1.caltech.edu
Tue Apr 25 11:17:58 EST 1995

In article <Pine.SOL.3.91.950424221102.11986A-100000 at corona>, Patrick
O'Neil <patrick at corona> wrote:

> Theoretically, there is nothing impossible about regenerating a limb or 
> even an organ...such is among the possibilities from future biotechnology.
> Yet even these creatures age and die.  Where are the immortal salamanders 
> or frogs?

Just out of interest, the limbs of regenerating amphibians are derived
from a specialised group of cells called the blastema, which form after
injury. Blastemal cells can be grown in culture indefinitely (and so, by a
cell biological definition are operationally immortal), yet these cells
can be marked and grafted back into a regenerating limb, where they take
part in forming the regenerate. Rather like embryonic stem cells (ES
cells) in mice.


Andy Groves
Division of Biology, 216-76
California Institute of Technology

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