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Did death evolve?

Discussion of the distribution and abundance of living organisms and how these properties are affected by interactions between the organisms and their environment

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Postby sachin » Tue Jan 09, 2007 2:07 pm

Good scientific and Ecological Answer Jimmy.
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Postby mattw » Sun Feb 25, 2007 6:27 pm

mith wrote:Isn't a cancer cell an immortal cell?


Isn't to say this a contradiction in terms?: The cells are "immortal" but they cause the death of their "host" organism. (Us.)
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Postby Poison » Tue Feb 27, 2007 6:17 pm

mattw wrote:
mith wrote:Isn't a cancer cell an immortal cell?


Isn't to say this a contradiction in terms?: The cells are "immortal" but they cause the death of their "host" organism. (Us.)


Cells are immortal because they do not go throught apoptosis. They cause death of the organism but they don't do it intentionally. It's just a result of the changes occured in cancer cells and their continuous division.
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Postby AstusAleator » Tue Feb 27, 2007 8:48 pm

immortal means they dont' die, but they do. They might not undergo apoptosis, but they CAN die.
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Postby Poison » Sat Mar 03, 2007 8:58 pm

how do you define the death of a cell then?
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Postby AstusAleator » Mon Mar 05, 2007 3:42 am

cell death can happen many ways.
Apoptosis is simply the programmed death of a cell.

Cells can die from attacks by other cells/organisms
cells can die due to a hostile environment (lack of nutrients etc)

I'm no micro biologist, but I guess cell death could be defined as a cessation of function accompanied by destruction of the cell body.
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Postby 45561 » Sun Mar 11, 2007 3:12 pm

James wrote:I was thinking there could have been a situation where reproduction was hindered due to the inability for organisms to die, thus death was favourable.


I think that it's possible. Competition between parent and offspring may harm proliferation to some extent. If the parent dies, then it is no longer competing with its offspring (the parent is already developed, probably larger and may be cannibalistic), so the offspring have a better chance of survival and can go on to reproduce more quickly.

It might be better to select against size than immortality, since there is a limit to how many organisms can survive in a space anyway, but evolution lacks foresight.

It is good to ask whether or not longevity was limited early in life's history. As suggested earlier, lava is pretty fierce. I think it more likely that the systems that allow long life conferred no advantage, and so if they did develop they were not selected for (rather than selected against), and so senescence was inevitable.
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virus death

Postby amoebapower » Wed May 23, 2007 12:40 am

as to what was said earlier, i dont believe viruses die because they are not techinically "alive" in the first place. for example chicken pox. once you get it, you dont get it again, although the virus has remained inside of you. only sometimes the virus flares up causing shingles. thus, viruses never die.
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Postby Dustfinger » Wed May 23, 2007 9:39 am

Are viruses living organisms now or not ?
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Postby kotoreru » Wed May 23, 2007 5:20 pm

Nooo...they have no metabolism.
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Postby mcar » Sat Nov 17, 2007 12:42 pm

Death is irreversible. That's it.
Evolution irreversible according to Dollo.
Death is simply the end, evolution progresses.
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Postby AstusAleator » Sat Nov 17, 2007 5:44 pm

And ironically the death of this thread doesn't seem to be very permanent
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