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Review Article
Nature 270, 301 - 304 (24 November 1977); doi:10.1038/270301a0

Evolution of ageing

T. B. L. Kirkwood*

*National Institute for Biological Standards and Control, Holly Hill, London NW3 6RB.

An evolutionary view of ageing suggests that mortality may be due to an energy-saving strategy of reduced error regulation in somatic cells. This supports Orgel's ‘error catastrophe’ hypothesis and offers a new basis for the study of normal and abnormal ageing syndromes and of apparently immortal transformed cell lines.

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