Do unicellular organisms age?

Christopher Kashinath Patil cpatil at leland.Stanford.EDU
Mon May 29 12:49:34 EST 1995

Do unicellular organisms age? 

I'd be interested to know what other people's thoughts were on this subject.
It seems unlikely to me that unicellular organisms would age (as it would
result in the extinction of clones that did undergo aging), but it also seems
difficult to understand how certain kinds of age-related damage (buildup of
metabolic by-products, etc.) could be avoided by these organisms.

On related notes:
1) Do unicellular organisms that pass through haploid and diploid stages 
repair age-related damage in one or both of these stages?
2) Do all multicellular organisms age? If not, what is the complexity thresh-
hold for aging?

I would be interested to hear thoughts on this subject; needless to say, if
you have references to relevant articles, please include those in your
response as well. 

Chris Patil				Stanford University
cpatil at leland.stanford.edu		Department of Biological Sciences
"That in our day such giant shadows are cast by such pygmies only shows
how late in the day it has become." -- Chargaff, referring to Watson & Crick

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