Lobsters may be the fountain of youth

Maine State Aquarium Director Aimee Hayden-Rodriques holds a 27 pound, nearly 40 inch long, lobster caught by Robert Malone off the coast of Maine near Rockland, Maine on Feb. 17, 2012. The aquarium named the crustacean \'Rocky.\' (AP Photo/Maine State Aquarium)

WASHINGTON – Lobsters could teach people about living long lives. And, possibly, about living forever.

It’s not that lobsters don’t die, but they don’t die as a result of their own metabolism, British biologist Simon Watt tells “The Week.”

Unlike human cells, lobster cells continually rejuvenate and they keep getting bigger. When they get too big for their shells, they grow new ones. Even lobsters older than 60 years old keep growing and reproducing as much, or more, than younger lobsters.

Human cells also rejuvenate but at some point they die — followed by the person.

Scientists are currently studying the crustaceans’ cellular biology as a “fountain of youth” for humans and, possibly more importantly, as a step toward curing human diseases.

WTOP’s Alan Etter contributed to this report.

Follow @WTOP on Twitter.


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