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The article itself has a headline that seems to suggest cellular death processes have been found to be reversible, or at least, not irreversible. But the text reveals that the research finding is not anything to do with reversibility. Rather, it is about interruptibility.
When they install an optogenetic switch in the organism to trigger the process, it functions as an On/Off switch. But there is no reverse switch, in the same way that there is no On/Off switch for the tracking cookies.
TFA, on one level, is an exercise in creating expectations for switches that don't exist.
I suspect the extremely slow ability to adapt to environmental changes led the tree to near extinction so in the end near immortality is not a good strategy when there is a need to adapt.
Those are different concerns. Immortality is about how long an individual tree can live. But how quickly the species can react to environmental change is determined by the rate at which an individual tree reproduces, not how long it lives.
> They discovered that certain conditions, like specific concentrations of calcium ions, for example, triggered the pores to close within only tens of seconds.
They dont say what specific calcium concentrations are in comparison to normal concentrations, but ageing and a variety of diseases are linked to calcium & phosphorus (phosphate) build up in a variety of organs.
So the question is, is calcium a silent killer or delaying the inevitable?
Considering K1 is taken up by many cells extremely quickly into the Rough Endoplasmic Reticulum, I wonder how that alters this experiment?