Re: BIO: Starfish and Lobsters

Anders Sandberg (
24 Sep 1998 18:58:34 +0200

"E. Shaun Russell" <> writes:


> In the realm of marine biology it has long been observed that both
> starfish and lobsters have very unique traits which, to the best of current
> biological knowledge, do not occur elsewhere in nature.

Huh? Regeneration is observed in many amphibians and countless other "lower" animals, and the lobster aging phenomenon is observed in various species of fish, among alligators and other "lower" animals. There is a whole chapter about this in Leonard Hayflick's _How and Why We Age_ (OK, I'm *always* refering to it, but it is a quite good source of data).

> These two observations have been known for quite some time, yet the
> examples are rarely used in regard to human aging. Furthermore, I have not
> personally heard of any research pertaining to the cellular and genetic
> possibilies when applied to humans. If I am wrong, please correct me, but
> if not, I believe that this is viable area to look to when considering the
> possibilities of human longevity.

I think the problem here is that they are so different from us, the biochemistry and genetics is fairly different. It might turn out that our mammal biology prevents regeneration. On the positive side, since the non-aging traits exist in a lot of species very scattered among the branches of the phylogenetic tree it seems "simpler" to evolve than regeneration, and might be a first goal.

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y