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This book describes the most outstanding theoretical hypotheses aiming at explaining the infinite proliferative potential of a cell population, what is now known under the term cell immortalization. It elucidates the phenomenon from an evolutionary point of view, and describes the cell systems used and the experiments performed at the cellular and molecular levels to determine the mechanisms responsible for this cell property. It also appraises how the mortal and immortal phenotypes reflect characteristics of the respective organism, and stresses how this goes beyond the proposal that its opposite, the mortal phenotype, is a mechanism to protect the organism against cancer.
A Theory on Cellular Aging and Cell Immortalization.- Cell Immortality: Maintenance of Cell Division Potential.- Comparative Biology of Cell Immortalization.- Clonal Life Cycle of Paramecium in the Context of Evolutionary Acquired Mortality.- Cellular Genealogy of In-Vitro Senescence and Immortalization.- SV40-Mediated Immortalization.- Concepts of Immortalization in Human Mammary Epithelial Cells.- Telomeres and Cell Division Potential.- Cellular mortality and Immortalization: A Complex Interplay of Multiple Gene Functions.