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Answering the question of aging

Discussion in 'Science & Technology' started by twilyth, Jul 18, 2011.

  1. twilyth Guest

    This is actually pretty old news since we've known about telomerase for quite a while - 2 decades at least.

    On the end of each chromosome there are long repeating sequences of DNA. This section is called the telomere. When a cell divides, the mechanism that copies the DNA doesn't copy the entire telomere. So with each division, the telomere gets progressively shorter.

    At a certain point, the telomere is so short that it reaches what is called the Hayflick limit. At that point, the cell becomes senescent or it's internal self destruct mechanism (apoptosis) is initiated.

    The idea is that if you could induce cells to make telomerase, the enzyme that rebuilds telomeres, you could prolong life and possibly prevent aging.

    Scientists discover the secret to a long life... but it's only your dog that will benefit
  2. Damn_Smooth

    Damn_Smooth New Member

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    If they can make it work in pets, it's only a matter of time before they make it work in humans.
  3. Drone

    Drone

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    Everlasting youth ... for the mice. Sounds neat.
  4. Neuromancer

    Neuromancer

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    You know whats neat.. I read this and thought of Stargate SG-01.. Especially the Apophis part :)







    I am a simple man
  5. de.das.dude

    de.das.dude Pro Indian Modder

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    dont feed these to teh mice.
  6. qubit

    qubit Overclocked quantum bit

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    Of course if they ever completely crack the secret of eternal life, you can be sure of one thing: every politician and tinpot dictator will get it and stay in power forever. The little people will of course, not be allowed to have it. Jeez, what a thought. :shadedshu
  7. Wrigleyvillain

    Wrigleyvillain PTFO or GTFO

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    They can test it on my old Rottie! :(
  8. twilyth Guest

    Here's another short article. I'm not sure if Bill Andrews, head of Sierra Sciences is talking about the same chemical or not. He says that a drug that induces production of telomerase should actually make people look and feel younger. He plans to present his findings at Cambridge later in the year.

    http://www.mynews4.com/story.php?id=46640&n=122
  9. Oxford New Member

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    There are multiple factors in aging, though. DNA damage from free radicals is one problem. The buildup of toxins like heavy metals is another.
  10. p_o_s_pc

    p_o_s_pc F@H&WCG addict

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    In AP Bio last year me and the teacher got into a nice convo of why clones don't live long and have genetic problems. What it boils down to is when the DNA is taken from the subject to make the clone it isn't the full DNA sequence.
    The clone problem can be "solved" by taking DNA very early in life(read before birth)
    How it relates to this thread is clones fail because of the same factors that cause aging.
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2011
    Crunching for Team TPU
  11. qubit

    qubit Overclocked quantum bit

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    Watching people grow younger would be creepy!
  12. twilyth Guest

    Excellent point. I just want to clarify. When you take cells from an adult organism and use those to create embryos for a clone, the embryonic cells will have the shorter telomeres characteristic of mature cells.

    While gestating, the embryo produces telomerase which will replace the pieces of the telomere lost during fetal development. But I don't think it will add to the length of the telomeres. So when the clone baby is born, it's telomeres are about as long as those in an adult. That means it's cells will hit the Hayflick limit much earlier in life than if it had started with cells that had full-length telomeres. Therefore its cells will become senescent and die much earlier in its life than what you would expect from a non-cloned animal of the same species.

    What's interesting to note is that telomere length varies from one person to another. So my cells might be able to withstand 50k divisions and your's might be able to go 60k. I think this is part of what accounts for the range of normal life spans in humans and other organisms.
  13. Thatguy New Member

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    I'd certainly appreciate having a fully functional right shoulder again minus the potentially noneffective surgical methods.
  14. p_o_s_pc

    p_o_s_pc F@H&WCG addict

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    @Twilyth thanks for clarifying and going into more detail then i did. :toast:
    My mind wasn't very clear lastnight when posting, So thank you :)
    Crunching for Team TPU

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