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Can lobsters help us learn to live longer?

Sunday - 9/22/2013, 12:45pm  ET

Alan Etter, wtop.com

WASHINGTON - What could a lobster teach us about living a long life - or maybe living forever?

It's not that lobsters don't die, according to British biologist Simon Watt - it's that they don't seem to die as a result of their own metabolism. He calls the crustaceans "biologically immortal."

He tells The Week that, unlike human cells that ultimately stop replicating themselves, lobster cells keep rejuvenating - they keep growing - and when lobsters get too big for their shells, they just grow new shells. Even lobsters 60 or older continue growing and reproducing as much or more than young lobsters.

Scientists are studying lobster cellular biology as a possible "fountain of youth" for humans, and steps toward curing human diseases.

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