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Gualala Arts

Promoting public interest and participation in the arts since 1961.

Archive of past events: 2004 through 2014

Gualala Arts Lecture Series presents:
How and Why We Age

with Leonard Hayflick
Monday, June 20, 2011, 7:00 p.m.
Admission is $5

Leonard Hayflick Gualala Arts will present a lecture by Dr. Leonard Hayflick on how and why we age on Monday, June 20, 2011, at 7:00 p.m.

Aging occurs in all animals who reach a fixed size in adulthood. It is indisputable that no human escapes, but the questions of how and why we age have fascinated noted biologist Dr. Leonard Hayflick for his entire career. In this presentation he will share, in lay terms, what he has learned during a lifetime of research in trying to unravel the mystery of aging.

His talk is not a discussion of diseases related to aging or how to slow the aging process. His focus will be on the fundamental biology of what happens in our cells that produce the changes we call aging.

Almost fifty years ago, in 1962, Hayflick discovered that cultured normal human and animal cells are not immortal. They have a limited capacity to divide. Now know as "The Hayflick Limit," this concept overturned a belief that had existed unchallenged since the early twentieth century and it focused attention on the cells interior as the fundamental location of age changes.

Learning more about the way cells age is important because old cells make us vulnerable to age related diseases. Hayflick discovered that normal cells have a counting mechanism that is tied to DNA replication. He also found that, unlike normal cells, cancer cells are immortal.

Hundreds of researchers have built upon Hayflick's discoveries. After years of research, the molecular mechanism that controls the number of cell replications was found by Hayflick to be in the nucleus of the cell. Later, the discovery by others of the molecular mechanism that explains Hayflick's findings was awarded the 2009 Nobel Prize in Medicine. Hayflick believes that the mystery of what causes aging has been solved and, as this becomes better understood, so will the cause of age-related illnesses.

After receiving his Ph.D at the University of Pennsylvania, Hayflick did post-doctoral work under the tutelage of renowned cell culturist Prof. Charles M. Pomerat. In 1968 he became Professor of Medical Microbiology at the Stanford University School of Medicine. After holding several posts at the University of Florida, he joined the faculty at UCSF Medical Center in 1988 where he is currently Professor of Anatomy. He and his wife reside on The Sea Ranch.

Those who listen to this scientific detective story will not discover the secret to eternal youth, but they will learn about the changes that explain how they age. They will also hear a fascinating story about Hayflick's quest for knowledge. An admission charge of $5 will be collected at the door.

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The Gualala Arts Center, located at 46501 Old State Highway in Gualala, CA,
is open weekdays 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and weekends from noon to 4:00 p.m.
Please call (707) 884-1138 for more information, or email

Join us in celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Gualala Arts, 1961 - 2011

Serving the coastal communities of northern Sonoma & southern Mendocino Counties.