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Biology/Life-span of a human cell


Andrew Lee wrote at 2011-06-16 02:04:27
Perhaps the easier and less confusing answer should have been: Anything up to the lifespan of the individual concerned...

premeditator wrote at 2012-03-09 00:01:06
"Every day thousands of new neurons are added to the mammalian brain.  Although the new neurons are a minuscule proportion of the total population, their continual addition over a lifetime implies considerable structural change. The magnitude and ubiquity of adult neurogenesis across vertebrates suggests that it is functionally significant and not merely a vestige of development.

"The available data indicate that the new cells may have lifetimes ranging from a few days to the life of the animal52, 86. There may be one population of adult-generated neurons that turns over with variable longevities and another, apparently much smaller, that is permanent. The turnover of most (or all) of the new neurons makes it unlikely that their function is to permanently replace dying cells that originated during development."

One of the most interesting points in this review, is that there is currently evidence that exercise promotes the development of new neurons, and use (critical thinking, chess, learning languages, etc) integrates those new neurons (use 'em or lose 'em).

Stay curious, Dave


Charles G. Gross, Neurogenesis in the adult brain: death of a dogma, Nature Reviews Neuroscience 1, 67-73 (October 2000)

Eriksson, P. S. et al. Neurogenesis in the adult human hippocampus. Nature Med. 4, 13131317 (1998).

Gould, E., Beylin, A., Tanapat, P., Reeves, A. & Shors, T. J. Learning enhances adult neurogenesis in the hippocampal formation. Nature Neurosci. 2, 260265 (1999).

Hastings, N. B., Tanapat, P. & Gould, E. Comparative Views of Adult Neurogenesis. The Neuroscientist 6, 313325 (2000)

KNM wrote at 2013-02-15 03:37:38
Below is the average lifespan of cells in the human body.

Cell type: Length of time

Red blood: 120 days

Lymphocytes: Over one year

Other white: 10 hours

Platelets: 10 days

Bone: 25-30 years

Brain: Lifetime

Colon: 3-4 days

Skin: 19-34 days

Spermatozoa: 2-3 days

Stomach: 2 days  


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Dana Krempels, Ph.D.


I can answer biology-related questions in the areas of evolution, zoology, botany, genetics, and ecology. But I don't answer homework questions or provide ideas for your science fair projects. So students please do your learning the right way by reading your text assignments and studying!


At the University of Miami, I teach Evolution and Biodiversity, Botany, Zoology, Genetics, Ecology, and a variety of seminars (e.g., the Biology and Evolution of Human Gender Roles).

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