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Cell Immortality: Maintenance of Cell Division Potential

  • C. Bernstein
  • H. Bernstein
  • C. Payne
Part of the Progress in Molecular and Subcellular Biology book series (PMSB, volume 24)

Abstract

Cell immortality refers to the ability to reproduce indefinitely. This property does not imply constancy of genetic information from generation to generation, since mutation coupled with natural selection and genetic drift may cause genetic changes over successive generations. Furthermore, cells of a germ line ordinarily undergo periodic recombination with cells of other germ lines causing additional genetic change. Nevertheless, all extant cells reflect the ability to reproduce indefinitely, since the ancestry of each cell presumably traces back, in an unbroken lineage for over 3 billion years, to the origin of life. As pointed out by Avise (1993), it is not actually cells which are immortal, but cell lineages.

Keywords

Germ Line Nucleotide Excision Repair Base Excision Repair Nurse Cell Meiotic Recombination 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. Bernstein
    • 1
  • H. Bernstein
    • 1
  • C. Payne
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Microbiology and Immunology, College of MedicineUniversity of ArizonaTucsonUSA

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