Bioviva didn’t succeed as originally envisaged, as a vehicle to bring human telomerase and follistatin gene therapy to the clinic; a recent article gave an outline of this history. At the moment I think few people are working on follistatin delivery, more is the pity, and the telomerase gene therapy banner has been taken up by another group. The original volunteer test subject, Liz Parrish, continues to perform a public service by publishing data on the outcome of her gene therapy – though I have to say that average telomere length as presently measured in sample of white blood cells is just about the least interesting of any measure one might propose to take following gene therapy with telomerase and follistatin.
Telomerase acts to lengthen telomeres, but average telomere length in immune cells is a terrible metric for age and tissue status. Average telomere length is an outcome of the pace at which cells are created from their stem cell populations, fresh with long telomeres, and the pace at which they divide, losing a little telomere length each time. In immune cells these behaviors are highly variable, greatly influenced by many transient
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