How soon do we die without mitosis?

  • Thread starter Monique
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  • #1
Monique
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I was wondering last night..

The turn-over in the human body is very fast, in the gut the cells differentiate from stem cells and after 2-5 days they are already discarded. Blood cells must have an even faster turnover.

Now I was wondering, if all cells in the body would stop dividing.. how long would it take for the organism -human being- to die, and what would we die of?
 

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  • #2
Njorl
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My bet would be brain damage due to lack of oxygen. The lack of oxygen caused by a shortage of red blood cells. I believe the heart actually destroys some blood cells just by its mechanical activity. A co-worker of mine has a few artificial heart patents, some of which never entered testing due to their high destruction rate of red cells.

Njorl
 
  • #3


Good Question.

I think it will take some time or us to die becoz the most essential organs that are required by an organism to be "alive" - like the heart and the brain ( or CNS) are organs the cells of which have an extremely slow rate of turnover. Maybe THAT'S WHY they have evolved to have an extremely slow rate of turnover- for permanence - in their capacity to store information ( neurons) and so that they are more permanent fixtures.Unlike the cells of the skin or the blood.

If mitosis stops happening, an organism, will lose the first barrier against infection - i.e the skin, and also the cells of the imune system. So, it is likely to die of a swarm of infectious diseses.
Maybe infections due to oppurtunistic pathogens like pseudomonas will take hold.

By the way- I am new. I am a biologist and am interested in learning abt physics etc... to better my understanding of living as well as non living matter.
Hi to all.

Pragyan.
 
  • #4
Monique
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Namaste Pragyan, aap kaise hai? Welcome to the forums! I am a biochemist and a great fan of Indian movies/music :)

I was also thinking that an infection due to the lack of white bloodcells would be the main cause.
 
  • #5
Jikx
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I think this has already been tested. Some forms of chemotherapy kills fast dividing cells, even non-cancerous ones. Hence, the side-effects of chemotherapy could point the way!

What side-effects can be expected?

Because some chemotherapy targets fast-growing, or fast-dividing cells, it is more likely to harm similar cells in the body.

These include the cells in the hair follicles, which is why cancer treatment is often associated with hair loss, although hair does regrow once treatment has ended.

Other fast-dividing cells can be found in the stomach and bowel lining, which leads to nausea and diarrhoea.

There are, however, drugs which help control this, and timing meals to avoid having a full stomach when the drugs take effect can also help in some cases.

Other types of normal cell that can suffer are the blood cells.

Red cells are important to carry oxygen to keep other cells alive. Other blood cells help stave off infection.

As a result, chemotherapy patients may be more prone to infections, and find them harder to fight off.

Hospitals will take regular blood tests to monitor the levels of different cells. This is called a full blood count.

Generally, patients on chemotherapy can expected to have less energy than usual, or even feel extreme fatigue.


Source
 
  • #6
Namaste Monique- well what a coincidence! Even I am very fond of Indian movies and music! http://

Well - it is fun being a part of the forum- I found it interesting since people interact well and promptly... and have intersting things to discuss.
 
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