Re: Life in the Lab -- Fox and the Nobel Prize

Moorad Alexanian (
Wed, 05 May 1999 11:47:05 -0400

Death is the cessation of life, isn't it? Is there some living, material
thing that is eternal?


-----Original Message-----
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<>; <>
Date: Tuesday, May 04, 1999 10:50 PM
Subject: Re: Life in the Lab -- Fox and the Nobel Prize

>In a message dated 5/4/99 7:11:39 AM Mountain Daylight Time,
> writes:
>> Do Fox's protocells age? Do they die?
>Are you suggesting that if they did not, they would not be alive? You are
>confusing macrobiology with microbilogy. Unicellular organisms do not age
>the sense that animals and plants do. They grow, mature, reproduce, but
>do not grow old. Even if they are prevented from reproducing they die only
>if directly killed (poisoned, starved, dehydrated, cooked, irradiated,
>or if one of their genetic self-destruct mechanisms are activated. The
>is true for an animal or plant tissue cell, the only difference being that
>their self-destruct mechanisms tend to self-activate on a regular schedule.
>If, however, you can eliminate the self-activation mechanism(s), then the
>tissue cell would be virtually immortal, like a cancer cell.
>Like cells and unicellular organisms, Fox's protocells can be directly
>and they are capable of self-destruction, but like cells and unicellular
>organisms they do not age, nor do they die if they get too old.
>Kevin L. O'Brien