Will Telomerase Research Overcome Cellular Senescence, Extend Life?

By: | September 8th, 2016

Telomeres & Telomerase

Telomeres & Telomerase (Image Courtesy https://vimeo.com/user38180908/titanovo-telomere-measure)

Hacking Human Software

According to Marvin Minksky the human brain contains several hundred computer programs and gaining medical control over brain processes requires a full understanding of how these programs work. Recent advances in biomedicine such as the mapping of the human genome and the emergence of synthetic DNA are major new paradigms scientists are using to push knowledge forward. These approaches not only have the promise of eradicating cancer and other major diseases, they have the potential to significantly extend human life.

Telomeres and Their Role in Human Biology

Many are touting telomerase therapies as the royal road to combating disease and extending human longevity. Nobel laureates are studying the interaction between telomerase and telomeres to determine whether or not the split ends of chromosomes can be mended, thereby eradicating or slowing diseases.

According to a paper, Telomerase and Cancer in the Oxford Journal the loss of telomere ends affects human aging and can be related to the onset of cancers.

“A fundamental difference in the behavior of normal versus tumor cells in culture (1–5) is that normal cells divide for a limited number of times (exhibit cellular senescence) whereas tumor cells usually have the ability to proliferate indefinitely (are immortal). There is substantial experimental evidence that cellular aging is dependent on cell division and that the total cellular lifespan is measured by the number of cell generations, not by chronological time (6,7). This means there is an intrinsic molecular counting process occurring during cell growth that culminates in the cessation of cell division. It is now evident that the progressive loss of the telomeric ends of chromosomes is an important timing mechanism in human cellular aging (8–20). Human telomeres contain long stretches of the repetitive sequence TTAGGG (21,22) which are bound by specific proteins. With each cell division, telomeres shorten by ∼50–200 bp (23), primarily because the lagging strand of DNA synthesis is unable to replicate the extreme 3′ end of the chromosome (known as the end replication problem) (24,25). When telomeres become sufficiently short, cells enter an irreversible growth arrest called cellular senescence. In most instances cells become senescent before they can accumulate enough mutations to become cancerous, thus the growth arrest induced by short telomeres may be a potent anti-cancer mechanism.”

Paul Allen: Not So Fast

Ray Kurzweil and Venor Vinge have popularized the “The Law of Accelerating Returns” and the belief that technology grows exponentially rather than linearly. If they are right huge breakthroughs in areas like biomedicine, longevity and treatment of disease are not far off. But Paul Allen, according to “Paul Allen: The Singularity Isn’t Near” in the MIT Technology Review, the Law of Accelerating Returns is flawed and the “complexity brake” may stymie progress for decades.

Terms & Concepts Related to Telomerase

The following terms and concepts related to telemerase have been covered on IndustryTap or will be covered in future articles:

  • TELOMERASE ACTIVITY & EXPRESSION
  • HUMAN CELLS
  • HUMAN TELOMERASE
  • HUMAN CANCERS
  • TELOMERASE RNAS
  • TELOMERASE ACTIVATION
  • RNA COMPONENTS
  • TELOMERASE REVERSE TRANSCRIPTASE
  • TELOMERASE COMPONENTS
  • NORMAL HUMAN
  • TELOMERASE GENES
  • RNA TEMPLATES
  • ENZYME TELOMERASE
  • TELOMERASE INHIBITION
  • TELOMERASE HOLOENZYME
  • TELOMERASE CATALYTIC
  • Natural Food Sources of Telomerase,
  • Telomerase Supplement GNC,
  • How to Increase Telomerase Enzyme,
  • Best Telomeres Supplements,
  • Foods That Lengthen Telomeres,
  • Telomerase Enzyme Supplement,
  • Where Can I Purchase Telomerase,
  • What Does Telomerase Do?

David Russell Schilling

David enjoys research and writing about cutting edge technologies that hold the promise of improving conditions for all life on planet earth.

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