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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 Poison » Mon Jun 27, 2005 4:49 pm

If you have children that means your genetic material goes on existing. (semi-consevatively) So, your genetic material is living. Maybe this can be considered as living of an organism forever. I don't know how it came to my mind. Just a thought... :)
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Postby Tamsicle » Tue Jun 28, 2005 8:54 am

Okay so fluctuations in the abiotic environment would pose a challenge to all organisms. As long as this occurs, death is necessary to ensure the survival of all species...right? You know this really one of those fantastic topics that gets you all excited and then you start thinking about it and have what you think is this spontaneous moment of genius...and then you realise it's completely irrelevent.
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Postby James » Tue Jun 28, 2005 2:24 pm

I don't know if you've missed the point, but I feel the discussion was interesting.
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Death and Evolution

Postby ananth » Sat Aug 13, 2005 3:14 pm

Hi there,
Death due to senescense is a natural phenomenon , In multicellular organisms u see it as a physical process and in prokaryotes we dont as the parental cell is lost during the fission. and if i am not wrong prokaryotes do undergo conjugation for making sure genes in populations are not lost due to senescense.
also in multicellular organsims u can treat individual cell is immortal as the also undergo same process as bacteria :wink:
As the site admisintrator said " Reprodction and sucessfull passing of genes over generations is one of the prime essesnce of life." once this is fullfilled the organism is practically dead.
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Postby doe » Sun Oct 02, 2005 9:25 pm

DEATH IS THE END OF YOUR PHYSICAL STRUCTURE'S PROCESSES THAT ALLOW IT TO FUNCTION CONTINUALLY. I AM A PANTHEIST/STRING THEORIST AND I BELIEVE THAT ONE'S LIFE'S SOURCE OF ABILITY,(PHYSICAL/MENTAL) WHICH INCLUDES ALL OF THE SENSES AND PERCEPTIONS OF THE WORLD, IS KEPT IN YOUR BODY LIKE A STORAGE COMPARTMENT, ONLY TO BE RELEASED BACK INTO THE UNIVERSAL-WIDE CULMINATION OF ALL LIFE'S ENERGY. THAT'S OUR DEATH. THUS, THE TRADITIONAL IDEA OF DEATH CHANGES, MAKING ITSELF SIMPLY A TRANSITION FROM OUR UNDERSTOOD PHYSICAL PERCEPTION OF THE WORLD INTO AN ENTIRELY NEW PERCEPTION OF THE UNIVERSE THAT IS UNCOMPREHENDABLE TO THOSE THAT HAVE NOT EXPERIENCED IT. ASK SOMEONE THAT HAS HAD OUT OF BODY EXPERIENCES, EXPERIENCED NIRVANA OR ANYTHING OF THE LIKE.
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Postby canalon » Mon Oct 03, 2005 8:10 pm

doe wrote:DEATH IS THE END OF YOUR PHYSICAL STRUCTURE'S [bla bla].


First you do not need to shout, release you Caps locks key please. Second, this answer is completely out of topic. We are discussing the evolution of death, not its meaning. Thanks

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hmmm agreeable.

Postby freindhacka » Sat Nov 26, 2005 5:39 pm

It would seem my post here would be a year or so to late.

Lets take this into account. Possibly the only rule any organism with genetic material has to obey.

#1. Replication.....

Nothing else matters to a piece of genetic code besides that. Now lets assume that the life-giving soup that first started life, started it with the simplest Genetic combination. One amino acid combined with another to form a chain. This chain doesn't really do much. After a while a combination is found that can possibly replicate itself. This gene, naturally will be "Immortal," because it has no devices for mortality as of yet. Except for outside forcies IE lava lightning etc. So this thing keeps on replicating. Perhaps it starts combining with itself to become an even longer chain. There are only soo many base pairs in DNA so there aren't a whole lot of possible combinations. The combinations "Genius" comes in with the length of the base pairs. DNA is Double-Helix, allowing for some protien codes to overlap and space for hormonal triggering.

I'm not a geneticist, but I believe that lacking a membrane and other Organelles to repair, a really simple genetic strand is quote "Immortal." It cannot die on it's own means. Only when the genetic strand becomes complex and evolves a way to self-repair and maintain does self death start to show itself.

Mutations will often kill an organism or render genes incapable of "Replicating." Thus effectively killing the organism. Cancer is the more common form to us humans, though cancer is the multicellular form of mutation.

Ok now back to immortality. Immortality is inherent in all living things, Ie replication. Self-repair and maintainence is what dies out. Certain genetic triggers/hormones slow becuase of what is known as the Hayflick limit. Something that shows up in a DNA strand like AAAAAAAAA followed by a stop code is kind of like a spacer. This spacer shows the absolute end of a certain protein chain or trait however, this strand is shortenend everytime the cell copies itself. If the original does not die or sustain massive damage it will remain with the original number. IE certain cells that compare to stem cells and can be found througout the body all throughout an organisms life.

Most cells in the body have specific jobs. Blood cells, liver cells, etc. Some of them have genes triggered in them to tell them what kind of cell they are to be and what they are to do. Blood cells, multinucli, brain cells etc. The thing is, just about all the cells in any organism contain the genetic material capable to create the exact organism again. The problem lies in the same feat that cloning researchers are trying to get around. How do we trigger the genes in a blood or muscle cell to work within a blank stem cell, and how do we trigger the newly created cell to produce a new organism instead of just making a blood/muscle/brain cell. People age because once they pass their peak age, the hayflcik limit triggers the cells to start ignoring more and more subsequent damage. The hayflick limit can however, be ignored if the correct trigger is found. Unfortunately I believe this would be like overhauling a battleship. All new guts/cells.

Triggering peak age restoration would have to be gradual, instead of taking a hormonal supplement that would cause all the cells in your body to start killing/replacing/rebuiliding etc. This would probably have the same effects of cancer. I think two teachers we could learn from would be reptiles and single celled fungi. As most of us know, reptiles posses unprescedented regenerative capability. If we could find out what triggers this we might be able to slow, stop, nay reverse aging. However reptiles are cold blodded and their slow metabolisms work well with regeneration. Instead of a Chain reaction as we would see in a warm blodded mammal, a lizards slow acting metabolism allows for a slower non-degenerative regeneration, instead of a speedy cancer. The reason for cell aging is partly due to the hayflick repeats, but it is also in part due to the fact that once a cell is told to do something, it wants to be lazy and just do what it was told. Once that blood cell becomes a blood cell, it's hard for him to turn into other cells unless correctly triggered. Again if he's something else, he can't revert back to a stem cell and regenerate his youth. We can replace him however, from already existing stem cells with the appropriate starting hayflick repeats.

In short, I believe that aging by death is due to evolution and complexity. Ie magnets swirling around will start sticking together versus if you're vehicles serpentine belt snaps. The vehicle won't just fix itself or snap together the way it wants to. It is possible to fix the vehicle if you could send it backwards through the assembly line.
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Postby scoophy » Tue Dec 06, 2005 4:57 am

:lol: I guess I'm late to respond, too...

I think death (speaking of individual death) is the evolutionary by-product of the development of individuality. As long as an organism has the ability to reproduce by dividing into two daughter organisms in a way that it goes up completely in these daughter organisms and no one can tell who is the mother and who is the daughter (dividing and doubling not only the genome but the entire body so that each daughter gets half of the mother's body parts) I would indeed call this organism immortal (theoretically - as we know even these organisms can age).

This is not only true for single cell organisms, even some metazoa such as corals and many plants can reproduce (or be reproduced) by divison: If you part your big asparagus plant into two halves and continue to grow them in two separate pots, would you say it died?

But as soon as sexual reproduction becomes the only way of reproduction whithin a species we get a population with only individuals and death becomes a biological necessity: Individuals produce gametes that mate with other gametes in order to form new individuals (no one ever being the same), the parent individuals remain the same as they were until age or some external cause sweeps them out of existence.

Remark: Of course not only genetic diversity causes individuality - the more complex an organism is the greater will be the influence of it's personal life-history upon its individual development.
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Postby amoebapower » Tue Dec 06, 2005 9:32 pm

ive heard that turtles are semi immortal, they dont die of old age but of sickness :wink:
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Postby mith » Tue Dec 06, 2005 11:33 pm

I'd say that your source is wrong.
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Postby playboy bunny » Sat Jan 28, 2006 9:16 pm

Poison wrote:If you have children that means your genetic material goes on existing. (semi-consevatively) So, your genetic material is living. Maybe this can be considered as living of an organism forever. I don't know how it came to my mind. Just a thought... :)


that sounds about the most normal answer on here!
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Postby February Beetle » Wed Feb 08, 2006 8:59 pm

Poison wrote:If you have children that means your genetic material goes on existing. (semi-consevatively) So, your genetic material is living. Maybe this can be considered as living of an organism forever. I don't know how it came to my mind. Just a thought... :)

I was thinking the same thing in reading all of this, like the cell theory. Each cell comes from a pre existing cell and what biostudent84 said about Mitosis about the parent cell not dying just splitting, well when DNA splits it means there is 1 old strand and 1 copied strand on each doublehelix so the original is always there. Very interesting topic! That's just my input. So many things going through my head when I read all the posts I can't orgainze and type it out correctly.
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