The Naked Scientists

The Naked Scientists Forum

Author Topic: QotW - 08.07.20 - Are any organisms immortal?  (Read 38273 times)

Offline darkmartheight

  • First timers
  • *
  • Posts: 1
    • View Profile
QotW - 08.07.20 - Are any organisms immortal?
« Reply #25 on: 03/01/2009 19:28:44 »
Hybridomas, although not entire organisms, are essentially immortal.  They are myeloma cancer cells that are fused with plasma cells and are used in creating monoclonal antibodies for use as reagents.
 

Anonymous

  • Guest
None
« Reply #26 on: 26/02/2009 23:03:35 »
What about hydra? AFAIK there is no increase in mortality with age. There's also that jellyfish which can revert to a younger state. HeLa cells might count too.
 

Online yor_on

  • Naked Science Forum GOD!
  • *******
  • Posts: 12001
  • Thanked: 4 times
  • (Ah, yes:) *a table is always good to hide under*
    • View Profile
QotW - 08.07.20 - Are any organisms immortal?
« Reply #27 on: 26/12/2009 01:11:56 »
Yes, those darned Jellyfishes again. First they take over the oceans, and then us.
It is time we took a stand there.
 

Offline Chemistry4me

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 7709
    • View Profile
QotW - 08.07.20 - Are any organisms immortal?
« Reply #28 on: 26/12/2009 04:36:03 »
It is time we took a stand there.
You know I quite like this kind of stand



Can we take some over there??
 

Online yor_on

  • Naked Science Forum GOD!
  • *******
  • Posts: 12001
  • Thanked: 4 times
  • (Ah, yes:) *a table is always good to hide under*
    • View Profile
QotW - 08.07.20 - Are any organisms immortal?
« Reply #29 on: 26/12/2009 14:31:14 »
Will you be the conductor?

Waltzing the jellyfishes to extinction?

Anyway, I'm not sure I would like that last one, they seem to be amazing creatures. Soon they will learn to communicate too.

"Take me to your leader."
 

Offline litespeed

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 419
  • Thanked: 1 times
    • View Profile
QotW - 08.07.20 - Are any organisms immortal?
« Reply #30 on: 05/01/2010 00:33:42 »
First of all, nothing at all is immortal, and accordingly, the terminology must be reduced to 'long lasting'. After all, the sun will eventually die. In addition, I would exclude clones as a form of long lasting life. They are nothing more then recreated or reproduced life that has already or will soon die a separate death. It simply does not matter the genetics are the same.

An arguement might be made that certain Myceleum are long lived. However, I have yet to see a C14 dating of any long lived mycelium. This is probably because none of the living culture is old enough to measure, and qualifies mostly as a clone.

The longest lasting continuous life I am aware of is the Bristle Cone Pine. These are simply small shrub trees that live, well, who knows. Certainly many millenia. Dendrochronologists have cross referenced dead ones to living ones and spanned, I believe, something like 8,000 years. Still, the really old ones have been dead a very long time.
 

Offline stereologist

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 125
    • View Profile
    • Stereothena
QotW - 08.07.20 - Are any organisms immortal?
« Reply #31 on: 05/01/2010 02:12:36 »
The bristlecones are indeed the oldest living trees. There are trees at least 4300 years old. The publicly shown trees are that old. There are trees in the 4800 year old range that are not revealed to the public. Other old trees include the giant sequoia. These trees are old and appear to die from falling over before they die of old age.

Some colonial plants are also old. The creosote bush of the American Southwest can live to over 11,000 years. A spruce in Sweden was just under 10,000 years. It too is colonial. Some colonial organisms may be 80,000 years old or older.
 

Offline litespeed

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 419
  • Thanked: 1 times
    • View Profile
QotW - 08.07.20 - Are any organisms immortal?
« Reply #32 on: 05/01/2010 17:55:26 »
stereologist

Fascinating. However, I googled  colonial organisms and they seem to fall into the clone category. I am especially interested in the Swedish spruce you mentioned. Does it continuously propogate from root stock? Did they do a core sample to determine its age?

If we count colonial organizms, Stromatolites might conceivably be millions of years old. They seem to be one of the few 'organisms' that survived 'Ice Ball' earth, and are still found in Australia. They are also the oldest form of fossil a collector can buy. Apparently because they were the only life form available for fossilization at the time.

However, none of the individual living cells are that old. They simply replace one after the other over long periods of time, leaving behind an accumulation matrix of whatever it is they excrete. I think it would be really neat if someone could compare current stromatolite DNA with the ancient ones.

I general, I would like to see DNA analysis of long lived clones to observe if random mutations take place, and at what rate.  Could a mutated clone still be considered the same life form. Or would it be counted as establishing a new line of clones.

Lots of fun....

« Last Edit: 05/01/2010 18:03:25 by litespeed »
 

Offline mystyle

  • First timers
  • *
  • Posts: 8
  • Lets Be`Connected!!
    • View Profile
QotW - 08.07.20 - Are any organisms immortal?
« Reply #33 on: 27/01/2010 07:50:30 »
All living creature have to die. Nothing is immortal. The creature like amoeba is immortal, cause it reproduce through binary fission. Among plants mostly those which reproduce through vegetative propagation rarely comes to existence. 
 

Rick

  • Guest
None
« Reply #34 on: 07/03/2010 06:06:03 »
Physical immortality is antithetical to sexual biology and the process of evolution. While immortality may sound great from an individual ego-based standpoint, it would represent an eventual death sentence for the human race. Our race, and indeed any sophisticated organism on Earth, uses evolution as a means to react to the changing environment and insure species survival. Random genetic experiments crop up in every generation. Most convey no advantage or are an active detriment to survival. As such, the alterations eventually disappear from the genome. However, periodically a genetic mutation gives the inheritor an important advantage which allows it to mate and spread the new genetic variant. Thusly, life faces the trials and tribulations that are present on our ever changing planet!

PLEASE REMEMBER! The survival of any individual animal or plant is of no significance in the Grand Universal scheme of life. We're in it for the species, children! Immortality would undoubtedly place any such cursed species at a major evolutionary disadvantage. Even assuming sterility wasn't a side effect of a substantially extended or immortal lifetime, it's well known that longer lived life forms have fewer offspring space further apart. Fewer offspring means substantially lengthened time between generations and inhibits any organism's ability as a species to react to changes in the environment, new diseases etc. Indeed, many of the species that have gone extinct in the last 100 years fall into this slow-adaptor category. They just couldn't evolve fast enough to cope with the rapidly changing environment caused by humanity and our spread across the globe. The polar bear is probably doomed for instance, but I wouldn't wait around for the house fly or mosquito to follow suit!

There's a reason scientists like using fruit flies and mice for genetic experiments. One of these reasons is how fast they multiply and evolve in responses to their environment. In fact, if it ever came down to a wager, I'd place money on the fruit flies, mice, and the infamous cock roach on outlasting homo sapiens sapiens as a species any day of the week! Yes, millions of these tiny individuals die every day, but their rapid evolution promotes their survival as a healthy species.  

Lastly, of course, would be the ghastly societal effects of widespread human immortality. Starvation, war, and social and economic anarchy would be the inevitable result.

For the sake of humanity, let's keep physical immortality in the realm of science fiction and vampire movies and TV shows! The horror of these programs should be sufficient for anyone!
 

The Naked Scientists Forum

None
« Reply #34 on: 07/03/2010 06:06:03 »

 

SMF 2.0.10 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines
SMFAds for Free Forums