Domenick Venezia venezia at zgi.com
Wed May 18 18:56:16 EST 1994

Jim Bowery mentions telomeres, but not telomeric shortening and 
its implications in human ageing.  I'm trying to find out if
this topic has been fully discussed in this forum so that I
do not rehash old news.  Here's the basic scheme:

As we age more and more of our tissues' stem cells senesce and
die.  An example is that our skin thins with age.  Eventually
one tissue system or another no longer has enough functioning
cells to mantain itself and we succumb to the cold, arbitrary,
slimey hand of death.  Why do stem cells senesce?  Because
with each replication a little bit ~100bp of the telomere is
lost and eventually it reaches a point where it triggers 
some senescent process and the cell dies, just as it was 
programmed to do.  My belief is that if every decade or so 
a way can be found to extend the telomeric sequence of each
stem cell in the body we can increase the potential lifespan
of the organism.  

Is this new ground?

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