Feeds

How old is my body if the cells keep renewing themselves?

An Odd Body inventory

Remote control for virtualized desktops

Also in this week's column:

How old is my body if the cells keep renewing themselves?

Asked by Jo Hopkins of Belmont, California, USA

About a century ago, scientists discovered that most of our brain cells formed during fetal development persist throughout life. But this discovery stimulated other scientists to discover the age of cells throughout the human body. If we look at the adult human body at age 40 from head to toe, the list goes something like this:

  • Brain cells of the cerebral cortex (the grey matter) are with you from birth.
  • Brain cells of the visual cortex (the array of cells in the front of the brain used for vision) are with you from birth.
  • Brain cells of the cerebellum (the structures at the base of the brain) are slightly younger than you are.
  • Intercostal muscle cells are about 15.1 years old.
  • Gut lining cells are about 5 days old.
  • Gut cells other than the lining are about 15.9 years old.
  • Skin cells are about 14 days old.
  • Red blood cells are about 120 days old.
  • Bone cells are about 10 years old.

We do not know precisely the average ages of eye-lens cells, heart cells, liver cells, pancreas cells, fat cells, and bone marrow cells.

Stephen Juan, Ph.D. is an anthropologist at the University of Sydney. Email your Odd Body questions to s.juan@edfac.usyd.edu.au

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
MEN: For pity's sake SLEEP with LOTS of WOMEN - and avoid Prostate Cancer
And, um, don't sleep with other men. If that's what worries you
Voyager 1 now EIGHTEEN LIGHT HOURS from home
Almost 20 BEEELION kilometres from Sol
HUGE SHARK as big as a WWII SUBMARINE died out, allowing whales to exist
Who'd win a fight: Megalodon or a German battleship?
Jim Beam me up, Scotty! WHISKY from SPAAACE returns to Earth
They're insured for $1m, before you thirsty folks make plans
ROGUE SAIL BOAT blocks SPACE STATION PODULE blastoff
Er, we think our ISS launch beats your fishing expedition
Comet Siding Spring revealed as flying molehill
Hiding from this space pimple isn't going to do humanity's reputation any good
BAE points electromagnetic projectile at US Army
Railguns for 'Future fighting vehicle'
LONG ARM of the SAUR: Brachially gifted dino bone conundrum solved
Deinocheirus mirificus was a bit of a knuckle dragger
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.
Business security measures using SSL
Examines the major types of threats to information security that businesses face today and the techniques for mitigating those threats.