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Telomere lengthening in humans? GOOD, BAD or Indifferent.

GaleHawkinsGaleHawkins Posts: 7,623Member Member Posts: 7,623Member Member
sciencealert.com/scientists-claim-they-ve-completed-the-first-successful-gene-therapy-against-human-ageing

Scientists claim they've completed the first successful gene therapy against human ageing.
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  • CorneliusPhotonCorneliusPhoton Posts: 965Member Member Posts: 965Member Member
    I wouldn't do it if I was still of child-bearing age, but I am glad that there are people out there willing to develop (and try!) new therapies. I wonder how they can measure effectiveness.
  • MelaniaTrumpMelaniaTrump Posts: 2,700Member Member Posts: 2,700Member Member
    Who the heck has enough money in retirement to live passed 100?
    Social security is just welfare.
  • GaleHawkinsGaleHawkins Posts: 7,623Member Member Posts: 7,623Member Member
    This article doesn't make total sense. First, it seems that the work hasn't been peer reviewed yet, so the jury isn't out yet on if the paper is legit. Second, they don't really explain telomeres accurately. Only a few kinds of cells in the body replicate, and those are the ones with telomeres. During the process of DNA replication, a tiny bit of the end of chromosomes has to be "sacrificed" in order to finish, so there are these non-coding bits at the end to make sure nothing important is lost. Basically, after X number of replications, there's nothing left to protect the end of the chromosome and that cell line dies because it can't replicate anymore. I could see potential in this for maybe skin cells, but I think the most important cells in our body are our brain cells, and those can't replicate. So even if this telomere research could somehow help maintain our bodies, our brains would still experience the normal degradation that comes with age (memory loss, damage from neurotoxins, damage from head injuries, damage from depression, etc). Basically, you are your brain and this research doesn't seem like it would impact the longevity of brain function. Just my opinion! I think if it's good work, it will certainly be medically important, just maybe not for aging.

    @GraceAnneU95 I can your point of view. This is a subject I have been studying for a few years so do my own article reviews on subject like this. This is a relative new field of study and the supplements on the market today thought to protect/lengthen the telomeres are on the expensive side. Brain cells we now understand can replicate. Nutritional ketosis is use to help protect our brains dementia, hearts and other organs from ROS, etc. Again I am sorry for the complexity of the subject but I agree it is deep and new science. As you see more articles from anti aging research I think you may become more interest in the subject to telomeres and protecting them. 40+ years ago I was not giving the subject any thought for sure like I am at 65. :)
  • auddiiauddii Posts: 15,410Member Member Posts: 15,410Member Member
    Um, the article references another article that talks about NASA's research, so there's an issue with the link back in general.

    From this vague article, she performed the research on herself. The only reason to do that is to avoid federal regulations on research, and is incredibly stupid.

    Don't expect to see future research on this in humans for a while.

    And peer review wouldn't touch this with a ten foot pole. There's a reason that good research isn't just someone randomly trying things on themselves.
  • stealthqstealthq Posts: 4,307Member Member Posts: 4,307Member Member
    auddii wrote: »
    Um, the article references another article that talks about NASA's research, so there's an issue with the link back in general.

    From this vague article, she performed the research on herself. The only reason to do that is to avoid federal regulations on research, and is incredibly stupid.

    Don't expect to see future research on this in humans for a while.

    And peer review wouldn't touch this with a ten foot pole. There's a reason that good research isn't just someone randomly trying things on themselves.

    +1

    The legitimate research on telomere preservation/lengthening is being done with the goal of extending the replication life of cell cultures. Now, THAT is exciting. Should bring down the cost of research in cell culture and will enable research where looking at effects after multiple replications is critical.
  • stevencloserstevencloser Posts: 8,917Member Member Posts: 8,917Member Member
    This article doesn't make total sense. First, it seems that the work hasn't been peer reviewed yet, so the jury isn't out yet on if the paper is legit. Second, they don't really explain telomeres accurately. Only a few kinds of cells in the body replicate, and those are the ones with telomeres. During the process of DNA replication, a tiny bit of the end of chromosomes has to be "sacrificed" in order to finish, so there are these non-coding bits at the end to make sure nothing important is lost. Basically, after X number of replications, there's nothing left to protect the end of the chromosome and that cell line dies because it can't replicate anymore. I could see potential in this for maybe skin cells, but I think the most important cells in our body are our brain cells, and those can't replicate. So even if this telomere research could somehow help maintain our bodies, our brains would still experience the normal degradation that comes with age (memory loss, damage from neurotoxins, damage from head injuries, damage from depression, etc). Basically, you are your brain and this research doesn't seem like it would impact the longevity of brain function. Just my opinion! I think if it's good work, it will certainly be medically important, just maybe not for aging.

    Wasn't there this saying that every 7~ years all your body's cells have been completely replaced by new ones? Are you telling me that's not true?
  • GaleHawkinsGaleHawkins Posts: 7,623Member Member Posts: 7,623Member Member
    https://ucsf.edu/news/2014/06/114956/longer-telomeres-linked-risk-brain-cancer

    Cells that live the longest have down side implications in some cases. I have a 40 year old friend that was recently found to have stage 4 of this brain cancer.

    We know next to nothing about how the body works it seems when it comes to longevity, cancer and most things it can seem.

    https://google.com/search?q=telomeres&rlz=1C1CHFX_enUS611US612&oq=telomeres&aqs=chrome..69i57&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8#q=telomeres+cancer&start=10
  • auddiiauddii Posts: 15,410Member Member Posts: 15,410Member Member
    https://ucsf.edu/news/2014/06/114956/longer-telomeres-linked-risk-brain-cancer

    Cells that live the longest have down side implications in some cases. I have a 40 year old friend that was recently found to have stage 4 of this brain cancer.

    We know next to nothing about how the body works it seems when it comes to longevity, cancer and most things it can seem.

    https://google.com/search?q=telomeres&rlz=1C1CHFX_enUS611US612&oq=telomeres&aqs=chrome..69i57&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8#q=telomeres+cancer&start=10

    I wouldn't say next to nothing.

    And why are you posting google search results?
  • Duchy82Duchy82 Posts: 558Member Member Posts: 558Member Member
    https://ucsf.edu/news/2014/06/114956/longer-telomeres-linked-risk-brain-cancer

    Cells that live the longest have down side implications in some cases. I have a 40 year old friend that was recently found to have stage 4 of this brain cancer.

    We know next to nothing about how the body works it seems when it comes to longevity, cancer and most things it can seem.

    https://google.com/search?q=telomeres&rlz=1C1CHFX_enUS611US612&oq=telomeres&aqs=chrome..69i57&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8#q=telomeres+cancer&start=10

    Great for extending cell culture lines to keep research costs down which could be beneficial as this cost saving could be passed on to the patient from a pharmaceutical perspective.

    When it comes to the aim to reduce the signs of ageing or to increase longevity I don't care for telomeres are the chormosal equivalent to a genetic damage reduction fail safe,why would we want to mess with that in the body? I would worry about the possibility of this increasing cancer risks which are there every time a cell divides the mechanism isn't perfect, dna transcription can make mistakes. Every mistake can have to potential to turn a normal cell into a cancer cell. I'll grow old gracefully and die when I'm supposed to instead of well in to the 100s, thanks!
  • yarwellyarwell Posts: 10,573Member Member Posts: 10,573Member Member
    This article doesn't make total sense. First, it seems that the work hasn't been peer reviewed yet, so the jury isn't out yet on if the paper is legit. Second, they don't really explain telomeres accurately. Only a few kinds of cells in the body replicate, and those are the ones with telomeres. During the process of DNA replication, a tiny bit of the end of chromosomes has to be "sacrificed" in order to finish, so there are these non-coding bits at the end to make sure nothing important is lost. Basically, after X number of replications, there's nothing left to protect the end of the chromosome and that cell line dies because it can't replicate anymore. I could see potential in this for maybe skin cells, but I think the most important cells in our body are our brain cells, and those can't replicate. So even if this telomere research could somehow help maintain our bodies, our brains would still experience the normal degradation that comes with age (memory loss, damage from neurotoxins, damage from head injuries, damage from depression, etc). Basically, you are your brain and this research doesn't seem like it would impact the longevity of brain function. Just my opinion! I think if it's good work, it will certainly be medically important, just maybe not for aging.

    Wasn't there this saying that every 7~ years all your body's cells have been completely replaced by new ones? Are you telling me that's not true?

    My daughter says "telomeres are a thing and they run out" and with her MSc in Biology I'll take her word for it.
  • yarwellyarwell Posts: 10,573Member Member Posts: 10,573Member Member
    auddii wrote: »
    From this vague article, she performed the research on herself. The only reason to do that is to avoid federal regulations on research, and is incredibly stupid.

    The list of things we owe to self research is not insignificant.
  • auddiiauddii Posts: 15,410Member Member Posts: 15,410Member Member
    yarwell wrote: »
    auddii wrote: »
    From this vague article, she performed the research on herself. The only reason to do that is to avoid federal regulations on research, and is incredibly stupid.

    The list of things we owe to self research is not insignificant.

    It's slightly different to compare research done in the modern era with research done in the 1500-1600s. There is a reason for standardized, organized, controlled research.
  • lithezebralithezebra Posts: 3,684Member Member Posts: 3,684Member Member
    auddii wrote: »
    yarwell wrote: »
    auddii wrote: »
    From this vague article, she performed the research on herself. The only reason to do that is to avoid federal regulations on research, and is incredibly stupid.

    The list of things we owe to self research is not insignificant.

    It's slightly different to compare research done in the modern era with research done in the 1500-1600s. There is a reason for standardized, organized, controlled research.

    A Nobel prize was given for the self research that proved that stomach ulcers could be caused by H. pylori.

  • lithezebralithezebra Posts: 3,684Member Member Posts: 3,684Member Member
    This article doesn't make total sense. First, it seems that the work hasn't been peer reviewed yet, so the jury isn't out yet on if the paper is legit. Second, they don't really explain telomeres accurately. Only a few kinds of cells in the body replicate, and those are the ones with telomeres. During the process of DNA replication, a tiny bit of the end of chromosomes has to be "sacrificed" in order to finish, so there are these non-coding bits at the end to make sure nothing important is lost. Basically, after X number of replications, there's nothing left to protect the end of the chromosome and that cell line dies because it can't replicate anymore. I could see potential in this for maybe skin cells, but I think the most important cells in our body are our brain cells, and those can't replicate. So even if this telomere research could somehow help maintain our bodies, our brains would still experience the normal degradation that comes with age (memory loss, damage from neurotoxins, damage from head injuries, damage from depression, etc). Basically, you are your brain and this research doesn't seem like it would impact the longevity of brain function. Just my opinion! I think if it's good work, it will certainly be medically important, just maybe not for aging.

    Wasn't there this saying that every 7~ years all your body's cells have been completely replaced by new ones? Are you telling me that's not true?
    yarwell wrote: »
    This article doesn't make total sense. First, it seems that the work hasn't been peer reviewed yet, so the jury isn't out yet on if the paper is legit. Second, they don't really explain telomeres accurately. Only a few kinds of cells in the body replicate, and those are the ones with telomeres. During the process of DNA replication, a tiny bit of the end of chromosomes has to be "sacrificed" in order to finish, so there are these non-coding bits at the end to make sure nothing important is lost. Basically, after X number of replications, there's nothing left to protect the end of the chromosome and that cell line dies because it can't replicate anymore. I could see potential in this for maybe skin cells, but I think the most important cells in our body are our brain cells, and those can't replicate. So even if this telomere research could somehow help maintain our bodies, our brains would still experience the normal degradation that comes with age (memory loss, damage from neurotoxins, damage from head injuries, damage from depression, etc). Basically, you are your brain and this research doesn't seem like it would impact the longevity of brain function. Just my opinion! I think if it's good work, it will certainly be medically important, just maybe not for aging.

    Wasn't there this saying that every 7~ years all your body's cells have been completely replaced by new ones? Are you telling me that's not true?

    My daughter says "telomeres are a thing and they run out" and with her MSc in Biology I'll take her word for it.

    Telomeres are regions at the end of chromosomes that protect coding DNA. Chromosomes get shorter every time DNA replicates in preparation for cell division, because of lagging strand replication. If we had circular DNA, like bacteria, we wouldn't need them.

    Telomerase is an enzyme that lengthens telomeres. It's used to develop immortal somatic cell cultures, and may be activated by exercise.
    edited April 2016
  • CorneliusPhotonCorneliusPhoton Posts: 965Member Member Posts: 965Member Member
    lithezebra wrote: »

    Telomerase is an enzyme that lengthens telomeres. It's used to develop immortal somatic cell cultures, and may be activated by exercise.

    Interesting. Paper about the relationship between telomere length and exercise: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2581416/
  • GaleHawkinsGaleHawkins Posts: 7,623Member Member Posts: 7,623Member Member
    lithezebra wrote: »

    Telomerase is an enzyme that lengthens telomeres. It's used to develop immortal somatic cell cultures, and may be activated by exercise.

    Interesting. Paper about the relationship between telomere length and exercise: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2581416/

    If I read the research correctly little or too much exercise both are not ideal for longer telomers?

    Thanks for the link.
  • CorneliusPhotonCorneliusPhoton Posts: 965Member Member Posts: 965Member Member
    Yes, that's what I got out of it. A similar relationship with immune function.
  • auddiiauddii Posts: 15,410Member Member Posts: 15,410Member Member
    lithezebra wrote: »

    Telomerase is an enzyme that lengthens telomeres. It's used to develop immortal somatic cell cultures, and may be activated by exercise.

    Interesting. Paper about the relationship between telomere length and exercise: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2581416/

    Wait, they did a base 10 transformation of the data because there wasn't a normal distribution but decided to write up the non-transformed data because it more closely represents biologically relevant data?

    It sounds like they were massaging the data. And not well. I can't see that they controlled for other differences that would affect telomere length.
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