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If I had thought about it, I wouldn't have done the experiment. The literature was full of examples that said you can't do this. Spencer Silver on the work that led to the unique adhesives for 3M "Post-It" Notepads

9. DEATH Previous | Next

Evolution’s problem with self-destruction

WHY do living things die? Obviously, things kill each other – that’s part of the natural order. But what causes “natural” death? It is a question that splits biologists. It has become like a game of ping pong – over the years, theories have been batted back and forth as new evidence comes to light.

One answer is that death is simply necessary – to avoid overcrowding, for instance. But evolution doesn’t – can’t – select for a “death switch” because evolution is supposed to be all about the individual. And yet there does seem to be a death switch – researchers have managed to locate genetic switches that massively extend the lifespan of some nematode worms.

That might seem a long way removed from where we’re at, but there are vertebrates that live a very, very long time. Blandings Turtles, just don’t seem to get old and decrepit, for example. Teasing out why that might be is a tricky job – but potentially worth it.

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Subject User Posted No of Posts Last Post
And the death switch shall help us live longer. Lateralxfer 11/08/2008 06:23 1 11/08/2008 06:23
More evidence we might beat ageing Michael Brooks 25/07/2008 07:53 1 25/07/2008 07:30
Dawkins vs Wilson Michael Brooks 25/07/2008 06:54 1 25/07/2008 06:54
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