Cellular senescence refers to a state of stable cell cycle arrest in which proliferating cells become resistant to growth-promoting stimuli, typically in response to DNA damage. Senescence was first described by Leonard Hay flick upon the observation that human fetal fibroblasts eventually stopped dividing, but remained viable and metabolically active after prolonged time in culture. It is now generally accepted that only transformed malignant cells replicate indefinitely, while non-transformed cells do not, with the exception of cell types with stem-like properties. These include endogenous germline and somatic stem cells, in addition to embryonic or induced pluripotent stem cells developed under controlled in vitro conditions.
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