IUBio Biosequences .. Software .. Molbio soft .. Network News .. FTP

Major Criticisms of The Telomeric Theory

Excelife excelife at earthlink.net
Tue Sep 15 02:18:06 EST 1998

In article <35FE043E.99DA1377 at nospam.com>, james at nospam.com says...
>ufotruth at ix.netcom.com wrote:
>> >snip<

>[snip for brevity]

>> One *possible* FUNAMENTAL cause of aging is telomere shortening.
>You are falling into a "wishful thinking" line of logic.  Even while
>disagreeing with many of your statements on the subject of telomerase I
>have pointed out many times that I *do* believe that telomerase has
>something to do with aging in humans, and is one of the factors that will
>need to be solved.  That being said, there is not a snowball's chance in
>hell that telomerase is going to cure aging by itself.  Pardon my strong
>language, but while it is perfectly logical to argue that telomerase has
>SOMETHING to do with aging, there is NO evidence (and I mean *evidence* -
>not all the speculation that has been tossed around on this subject) that
>it is THE cause of aging.  Arguing that telomerase research should be
>pursued because it could turn out to be a cure-all is fairly ludicrous.
>Just wanted to make that clear, it's not even what I meant to write
>about...  I wanted to comment on Tom's (Matthews) "waste of resources
>theory".  As I said before, I'd be willing to to bet that telomerase is
>involved in aging somehow, and does need to be worked on because somewhere
>down the road it will become a road block (and it may even be a road block
>now for people that die of arteriolosclerosis).  BUT - it isn't the *most
>immediate* problem for the *most* people.  If you had to allocate money and
>personel on that basis telomerase research would not get the priority it
>Now obvioulsy the statements made above are a matter of opinion, and Tom
>Mahoney would disagree.  But here is something that I don't think he can
>logically disagree with:  Think of all the work that would have to be done
>just to safely use a telomerase-based aging treatment.  You better have
>cancer treatments well in hand.  And how are you going to get a telomerase
>treatment to your cells? You might be able to inject some types of cells,
>like marrow stem cells, and fibroblasts, and other things whose spacial
>arrangements are not critical.  Then they would just grow, replacing the
>old cells, and everything woul be fine.  But that isn't going to work for
>some cell types.  Probably won't work for the brain.  Won't work for the
>heart.  Probably won't work for other organs that have complicated
>structure, since you cant just expect the cells to migrate to the correct
>place and be functional.  So not only do you have to worry about cancer,
>but you have a HUGE delivery problem.  Current vectors are not even close
>to being up to the job.
>So to play Devil's Advocate, let's assume that telomerase IS the answer to
>aging.  You should still be devoting your money and personel to curing
>cancer and developing new vectors.  Without those things your telomerase
>cure is worthless - or maybe worse than worthless if it gives someone
>cancer.  I don't think that there is any question that prioritizing
>telomerase research is not the best way to work on aging at the moment.
>But, so what?  It really doesn't matter who is right and who is wrong
>because "optimal allocation of resources" is not the way science research
>works in our world.  People will work on what they want to work on as long
>as they can convince NIH or someone else to give them money, and our
>complaining isn't going to change that (nor do I think it should - the way
>I see it it's kinda like freedom of the press for science).  So in this
>case Tom Mahoney is going to get the last laugh :)


You have anticipated my next section on the telomeric theory of aging.  You 
have provided some good examples of the problems and obstacles that need to 
be overcome both in the research and to achieve therapies based on telomeric 
lengthening.  I will incorporate some of these issues in that post.

You state above "I don't think that there is any question that prioritizing
telomerase research is not the best way to work on aging at the moment."  The 
question I raise is where would you allocate funds for aging research if you 
could make the decision?

This is not an idle question!  Lifeline Labs. is nearing the position to be 
able to fund additional research into aging.  If you are aware of a specific 
research project or line of research into aging that holds more promise than 
the research into the telomeric theory we would love to see it.

We will be soliciting Research Grant Applications in the very near future and 
are open to any research that has the potential to effect human aging.

Thomas Mahoney, Pres.
Lifeline Laboratories, Inc.

More information about the Ageing mailing list

Send comments to us at biosci-help [At] net.bio.net