What does immortality mean at the molecular, cellular, transgenerational and evolutionary level?
Most organisms have a defined lifespan, however life of a species continues and evolves via germline from generation to generation. Recent studies show that tissue stem cells share molecular and developmental signatures with the germline and that even fully differentiated, postmitotic cells can be reprogrammed to regain totipotency.
This EMBO | EMBL Symposium will go beyond a description of the phenomena involving stem cell behaviour, programming and reprogramming. It will bring together researchers from different disciplines, who will address fundamental questions of totipotency as they relate to evolution, development and tissue specialization.