Aging is an inevitable fact of life for most organisms, but one particular microbe has found a way to avoid getting older, at least in a sense, a new study finds.
Under favorable conditions, the microbe, a species of yeast called S. pombe, does not age the way other microbes do, the researchers said.
Typically, when single-celled organisms divide in half, one half acquires the majority of older, often damaged cell material, while the other half acquires mostly new cell material.
But in the new study, researchers found that under favorable, nonstressful growing conditions, S. pombe (a single-celled organism) divided in such a way that both halves acquired about equal parts of old cell material. "As both cells get only half of the damaged material, they are both younger than before," study researcher Iva Toli?-Nørrelykke, of the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics in Germany, said in a statement. [Living Forever: The Top 10 Immortals]
What's more, previous research has shown that when cells divide and continuously pass on old cell material, the cells that get the old material start to divide more slowly — a sign of aging. This has been seen in microorganisms such E. coli and the yeast S. cerevisiae.
But in the new study, S. pombe cells showed no increase in the time it took for them to divide, the researchers said.
That's not to say that S. pombe cells don't die ( via news.yahoo.com ).