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Thursday, January 18 • 4:00pm - 4:45pm
Making Young from Old- LIVESTREAM

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Wherever senescence has evolved, there must be means to keep some portion of the individual free of it, so that descendants can begin life with full potential (i.e., totipotent).  August Weismann, who presented the first cogent model of the evolution of senescence in 1893, recognized this and therefore envisioned for the first time the existence of a "germ-plasm" separate from the soma.

For many years germ-soma separation was considered to be an all-or-nothing phenomenon, but the discovery of senescence in bacteria has slowly been eroding this point of view.  Separation is now increasingly thought to occur along a continuum: bacteria do it a little, protists do it a bit more, and most multicellular organisms do it a lot.  Thinking of germ-soma separation in this new way allows us to notice adaptations, previously unnoticed, that serve to prevent the transfer of compromised states, including those that accrue with senescence, directly to offspring.

Cancer is among the compromised states that organisms attempt to confine within the soma, and in this talk, I explore the mechanisms involved and propose that through imperfections in germ-soma separation it might be possible for some tumor adaptions to evolve over more than one lifetime.

avatar for Paul Turke

Paul Turke

MD, PhD, Turke & Thomashow Pediatrics
As an anthropologist (Ph.D., Northwestern University, 1985) I helped to found the field of cooperative breeding in humans. I was a Fellow with the University of Michigan's Evolution and Human Behavior Program from 1986-1990, where I participated as one of the original four members... Read More →

Thursday January 18, 2018 4:00pm - 4:45pm
Garden Terrace

Attendees (2)