Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Hayflick Limit

Maximum number of cell divisions of a species’ cultured fibroblasts dividing mitotically in vitro before cells enter a degenerative state called cell senescence. The Hayflick limit is correlated with the maximum lifespan potential of that species, its brain mass, and other variables, even when interrupted by cryogenic suspension of cell division activity. Named after Leonard Hayflick, who observed that the number of cell divisions is distinct for each species.

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