Discover The Secret Of Immortality
Immortality, naturally, is impossible there is nothing eternal in this world. However, individual life of multicellular organisms can be prolonged. Physiological limits of a lifetime are connected with a restriction for the number of divisions of somatic cells, which is connected, in its turn, with genome spoiling. There have now appeared the first ideas of how to struggle against this spoiling present-day people have a chance for essential prolongation of their lives.
It is the second of her voyages (Fig. 1), captained by R. *FitzRoy, which launched the Beagle into immortality young CD was on board, though not as her *naturalist (Burstyn 1975). Basalla(1963)reviews aspects of that voyage not related to CD, which involved testing the batteries ofchronometers used to infer longitudes (Sobel 1995), and testing the new Beaufort scale to reckon wind forces around the world (MacLeod and Rehbock 1994). Many books for specialist and or lay persons have been published which retrace all or parts of that voyage, and give emphasis to one or other of its adventures. Examples are Campbell (1997) Keynes (1979) Marks (1991), or the superb volume by
Death almost invariably follows their single burst of reproduction (see Chapter 4). Poa annua on a lawn can be made almost immortal by mowing it at weekly intervals, whereas in natural habitats, where it is allowed to flower, it is commonly an annual - as its name implies.
There are several other more sophisticated non-evolutionary (or at least not directly evolutionary) explanations of ageing very similar to wear-and-tear, but in these cases the damage is associated with an intrinsic breakdown of the genetic machinery, rather than an accumulation of chemical or physical damage. Paralleling the decline in fission rates in single-celled organisms, it is now recognized that cells within a multicel-lular body can only go through a limited number of cell divisions before ceasing active division. In the case of human cells, for example, the maximum limit is in the order of 50-60 divisions. This restriction is known (in honour of its discoverer Leonard Hayflick) as the Hayflick limit.48,49 What causes these Hayflick limits Accumulation of deleterious mutations within cells may play some roles50 as well as changes in the quantity and distribution of chemicals ('epigenetic factors') which bind to DNA to influence gene expression, but a widely discussed...
In considering population dynamics (Section 5.2.6) we considered all members of the population to be equal. We were concerned with rates of reproduction and loss from the entire population, looking only at the numerical response. This suffices for single-celled organisms that reproduce by dividing and are potentially immortal. For populations of multicellular organisms, however, individuals are not all equal. Reproduction always produces individuals of the youngest age class, and different age classes have different probabilities of dying.
The fitness of an individual is determined both by its mortality and by its reproduction. Except for unicellular organisms, which are potentially immortal, all other organisms have a division of labor between somatic and germ cells and must therefore die. Natural death from aging is of relatively minor importance in an ecological context, since under natural conditions the vast majority of individuals never reach an age where they would die without outside influences. Most individuals die as a result of some clash with either the abiotic or biotic environment. Such external mortality also occurs in potentially immortal single-celled organisms.
A corollary to emergence is the loss of identity, properties, and attributes (called property space) of the agents as they progressively self-organize to form complex systems at a higher hierarchical level. Testa and Kier have addressed this issue where they have referred this reciprocal event as dissolvence 57,58 . It is the reduction in the number of probable states of agents as they engage each other in the synergy with fellow agents. This is a partial loss they do not disappear but are dissolved into the higher system. As hydrogen and oxygen are consumed in a reaction to form water, these atoms loose their identity as gases with free movement and become joined with each other to change state and to become ensnared in a fixed relationship. To quote H. G. Wells and J. S. Huxley 59 He escapes from his ego by this merger and acquires an impersonal immortality in the association his identity dissolving into greater identity.
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