Morning Cup O' Joe

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“Immortal” Human Cells

From Disenchanted Dictionary:

When human body cells are removed and put into a cell culture, they weaken and die quickly, usually within about 50 divisions. Without the rest of the support structure—a heart, blood circulating, a digestive system and so-on—body cells can’t survive. Body cells also age, so even if you were to simulate the body’s environment in a test tube or petri dish, the cells would eventually perish anyway. The basic mortality of the cells reflect the basic mortality of the organism they comprise, which is why there’s no fountain of youth or medicinal procedure that’ll give you biological immortality.

There is, however, one human being who is biologically immortal on a technicality, and her name is Henrietta Lacks.

This reminds me a little behind the premise behind the Resident Evil games. Surprisingly, Henrietta Lacks’ cells are still alive today and being used in research, and have even been named as their own species: Helacyton gartleri.

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November 2, 2007 - Posted by | Oddities, Science and Technology

3 Comments

  1. That is pretty neat, though the idea of an immortal cancer is scary to think about.

    Comment by Mike | November 2, 2007

  2. this has nothing to do with immortal cancer cells but this post remined me of this:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Incorruptibility

    i’ve heard of it before and thought it was kinda cool. hope you enjoy.

    Comment by jen | November 2, 2007

  3. Sorta like Parasite Eve.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parasite_Eve

    Comment by Bernard | November 2, 2007


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