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Sex and Death in Protozoa: The History of an Obsession

By: Graham Bell

199 pages, 59 figs

Cambridge University Press

Paperback | Mar 2008 | #174889 | ISBN-13: 9780521056700
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £27.99 $34/€31 approx
Hardback | Mar 1989 | #31409 | ISBN: 0521361419
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £92.99 $114/€104 approx

About this book

Is ageing inevitable, or can senescence and death be evaded? Large animals and plants always age if they live long enough; even individual cells from their bodies cannot continue living and dividing indefinitely. Whether or not single-celled organisms also age and die, and what relation sex bore to the process of senescence, was the subject of vigorous debate and experimentation early in the last century. In this book, Dr Bell disinters and reanalyzes these forgotten experiments, and argues that protozoan lineages do indeed senesce, as the result of an accumulated load of mutations that can be shed only through sexual reproduction. This unexpected connection between sex and death is the central theme of a book that will interest all students of evolutionary biology, sexuality and senescence.

Paperback re-issue, originally published in 1989.

...concise, elegant, non-technical and (that rare thing) a thoroughly good read. Nature "...Bell has clearly shown that a senescent body of data can be rejuvenated when it is mixed with fresh new ideas." Science


List of illustrations; List of tables; Preface; 1. The question of protozoan immortality; 2. Sex and reproduction in ciliates and others; 3. Isolation cultures; 4. The fate of isolate cultures; 5. The culture environment; 6. Does sex rejuvenate?; 7. Germinal senescence in multicellular organisms; 8. The ratchet; 9. Soma and germ; 10. Mortality and immmortality in the germ line; 11. The function of sex; References; Index of first authors; Index of genera; Index of subjects.

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