Telomeric Theory - Implications

stollman at neverspam.com stollman at neverspam.com
Sat Nov 7 15:36:17 EST 1998

On 6 Nov 1998 22:41:58 GMT, excelife at earthlink.net (Excelife) wrote:

>The research into the telomeric theory is going to have a significant 
>influence on our lives in the years to come.  That telomeres are 
>significantly shorter in replicating cells of the elderly(1) is evidence that 
>telomeric shortening is related to aging.  That critically shortened 
>telomeres are likely causative of cells entering senescence(2) suggests a 
>mechanism by which telomeres could be a cause of some of the declines in 
>functioning noted during aging.(3) The negative effects of differential 
>genetic expression with age(4) also appear to be related to telomeric control 
>of some transcriptional silencing mechanisms.(5)
>Procedures to maintain telomeric length in replicating cells(6) could, 
>therefor, have some significant effects in avoidance of these age related 
>These findings, among others, suggest that telomeric lengthening could have a 
>positive effect on human life span. 

Yesterday, the chief scientist of Geron was on PBS TV news, talking
about Geron Research into immortality of human cells. Geron has a  pile
of patents, they spent millions of Dollars on research in the past
decade. Yet, they do not have a single drug, or any other product in
pharmacies that a doctor could prescribe to an elderly patent.  It is
highly unlikely that they will have any such product in the foreseeable
future, as theGeron's CSO said  that it still will take at least 10 more
years to have anything useful.  One has to wonder if they are not the
20th century equivalent of 19th century snake oil cures. Especially
since you do not hear any confirmation from the big drug companies of
anything that Geron does. And the big drug companies are not timid in
issuing press releases.

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