Fight Aging!

Telomerase gene therapy as a treatment for aging is a popular topic these days, given the results in mice from past years, though I still think that more work needs to be done in mammals other than mice to address concerns related to cancer risk and effectiveness. Mice have telomere and telomerase dynamics that are quite different from those in humans, and the details of those differences might turn out to be important in the balance between greater stem cell activity and greater risk of cancer resulting from the activity of age-damaged cells. It is not unreasonable to think that adding a given amount of telomerase to cells might be good, bad, or neutral to varying degrees on a species by species basis.

Telomerase gene therapypopular topicresults in micepast yearstelomeretelomerasequite different from those in humansstem cell

Telomerase therapies are thought to work because telomerase lengthens telomeres, among other possible activities, and thus causes cells to undertake more replication and other activity than they would otherwise have done. This is particularly the case for the stem cell populations responsible for tissue maintenance. That tissue maintenance normally declines with age, an evolved reaction to rising levels of molecular damage that serves to reduce cancer


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