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Goldfish Level Alert

cercaria, you must must must read more about helacyton gartleri. I am trying to work it into my theory of goldfish immortality the more I am learning!

This of course, assumes you don't already know about them. If you do, that is something you knew before I did, and the reason book learnin with a tuition is sometimes better than my tried and true shotgun method.


Dec. 7th, 2005 08:00 pm (UTC)
From what I recall, that "immortality" is entirely linked to that cancer's ability to produce telomerase. Note: Sorry, I'm going to ramble a bit about bio stuff for a moment.

Under normal conditions, telomerase is produced mainly by stem cells (and egg/sperm cells), where it adds tiny, repeating segments of DNA to the ends of chromosomes. Usually, by about 20 weeks after conception, the human body has lost the ability to produce telomerase.

These segments at the ends of the chromosomes are called telomeres, and they protect the chromosome's tips. Each time a cell divides, the telomeres on its chromosomes become shorter. They shorten because the process our bodies uses to reproduce strands of DNA requires RNA to first grab hold of the DNA strand -- the part that it When they drop to a certain length, the cell stops dividing and gradually dies.

Telomerase is found in something like 80-90 percent of cancers. The enzyme, if I remember right, is what helps cancer cells keep their telomeres at a constant length, enabling the cells to divide an infinite number of times ... ie, becoming immortal.

End of rambling.
Dec. 8th, 2005 03:36 pm (UTC)
Telomerase and chromosome splitting
you are spot on on the built in "life counter" encoded in our genetic structure. the key question to me though, is why, in MANY kinds of cancer (and certainly in human cells) why in all other cases, the extremity of a harsh or sterile environment disrupts the play of the cells's cycle, but in the case of Helacyton gartleri it has managed to not only overcome this process, but innovate beyond the bounds of most other cellular derivitives of like origin.


Steam Escaping!
The Son of the last of a long line of thinkers.

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