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Differences in cell division between male and female cells


What's causing the cessation of mitotic activity in cells?
Leonard Hayflick Scientist
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Well, the observation that the two or three cultures were not behaving properly, suddenly stopped dividing after ten months or so, was no great shock, but when I looked at my records and discovered that they were the oldest ones, my ears perked up because that seemed to be inconsistent with what I had been taught and what I believed. As time went by, this phenomenon became more obvious as the cultures that were still dividing happily at that point themselves began to then stop dividing. So that it became perfectly obvious that the oldest cultures were the ones that... in which division capacity had stopped. And that was... that seemed to be a true case, but needed to be proven because again, at that time, one of the other reasons invoked for failures of cultures to continue to divide was the appearance of viruses. Virology, as I said several times I think, was now in its renaissance and many virologists were working with cell cultures in which research could more easily be done than in animals and viruses were always on my mind because most of the people around me at the institute were virologists, or working in some way with them. So that was a serious consideration, what’s causing the cessation of mitonic activity in these cells.

Leonard Hayflick (b. 1928), the recipient of several research prizes and awards, including the 1991 Sandoz Prize for Gerontological Research, is known for his research in cell biology, virus vaccine development, and mycoplasmology. He also has studied the ageing process for more than thirty years. Hayflick is known for discovering that human cells divide for a limited number of times in vitro (refuting the contention by Alexis Carrel that normal body cells are immortal), which is known as the Hayflick limit, as well as developing the first normal human diploid cell strains for studies on human ageing and for research use throughout the world. He also made the first oral polio vaccine produced in a continuously propogated cell strain - work which contributed to significant virus vaccine development.

Listeners: Christopher Sykes

Christopher Sykes is a London-based television producer and director who has made a number of documentary films for BBC TV, Channel 4 and PBS.

Tags: cell division, viruses, mitotic activity

Duration: 2 minutes, 1 second

Date story recorded: July 2011

Date story went live: 08 August 2012