September 9th, 2013

Lobsters and longevity: who knew?

Here’s an article entitled “Lobsters may hold the key to eternal life.”

I don’t know that “eternal” is quite the right word for it. But certainly “very long” would seem to fit.

Apparently it’s all in the telomeres:

Although they are still susceptible to death by disease or attacks, lobsters can theoretically live forever because getting older does not raise their chance of dying.

An enzyme known as telomerase prevents the DNA in lobsters’ cells from being damaged as they are replicated, scientist Simon Watt reports in The Sun.

Does that make you feel more guilty about eating lobster? Or does it make you feel better about it?

10 Responses to “Lobsters and longevity: who knew?”

  1. vanderleun Says:

    A lobster, as everyone knows, is simply a melted butter delivery vehicle. I’m sure that eating lobster soused in melted butter is the new key to eternal life. Isn’t it?

  2. CV Says:

    Better. Definitely better.

    I think with this post you have officially become the comprehensive source of lobster news on the net, Neo :-)

  3. Ymarsakar Says:

    I used to think all those totalitarian science fiction novels about a gerontocracy holding the keys to ever lasting life while the peasants lived at most to 50, was too extreme to be realistic.

    Now a days, I think differently.

  4. blert Says:

    Ages ago, there was a restaurant embedded in the Ilikai Hotel (Waikiki) that had a mounted lobster upon its exterior door entry.

    The plaque emphasized that the carapace was, incredibly, a real one — even though it was the size of a man!

    It had fed, IIRC, 150 patrons way back when.

    Lobsters never quite stop growing. In this instance, it was estimated that this critter was far older than the oldest living human, perhaps 150 to 200 years of age.

    At such a scale, the females scurry to his ‘attention.’ He could ‘assist’ ten at a time. Some estimated that he was fathering the bulk of the lobsters then being caught for miles around. The babes think size is sexy.

    He was only caught by accident, being too large for any lobster pot. He was netted off the bottom, far out at sea where traps are never set.

    So, there’s something to it.

    Claws, BTW, were bigger than your arm. So massive that it was an apex predator, more or less, where it roamed. It could catch full sized fish by merely playing possum.

    It must have inspired a Japanese monster movie or two.

  5. Bob From Virginia Says:


    You’ve hit on a great idea. Can’t you see it, instead of Godzilla destroying New York we could have lobsterzilla destroying some Maine fishing village in an eco-revenge genre movie.

    The green crowd would love it.

  6. sergey Says:

    Telomeres and telomerase have very little import on longevity. This is very obsolete and long ago debunked theory of aging. Aging is property of organism as a whole, it can not be reduced to cellular, subcellular and molecular level. Popular science usually is a junk science of previous decade.

  7. sergey Says:

    New cells arise not from differentiated cells, but from so-called stem cells. And all stem cells contain this ferment called telomerase, so all living creatures, including you and me, already have this ferment. So do not rush to eat lobsters, they are not kosher.

  8. Ymarsakar Says:

    There was a sci fi story I heard about some sea creatures who lived a quiet life using telepathy. They then built a foundation for space exploration and found other aliens. Those other aliens were being wiped out by these unknown forces which swim through the black sea and devour or dominate whatever they come across.

    The hidden backstory was that the sea creatures obeyed elders, and since they never die from old age, they just keep growing. Until periodically, they produce a being that is sociopathic, grows to be an elder, and uses telepathic powers to dominate the entire planet. Forcing the entities to work to build a space suit fit for a being that can live in space. The sociopathic elder then grows so larger and power, they can bend space with their minds using advanced telekinethic force. They fold space and teleport themselves and the water around them into space. Thus is born the force that devours the universe one species at a time.

  9. Bob From Virginia Says:

    Ymarsakar, I like the idea of Lobsterzilla destroying a Maine fishing village better. No cosmic ramifications or hidden meetings, just some terrified locals and perplexed tourists.

  10. Ymarsakar Says:

    I thought Maine considered itself the center of the cosmos though? Would it not then have cosmic ramifications there.

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