Jan 12, 2020

Telomerase: The Real Fountain of Youth?

Posted by in category: life extension

Robin looks like an ordinary twelve year old girl. She is about to run a mile for gym class and expects to do well. She comes in dead last, gasping for air by the end. Fast forward one year: her hair is graying, her skin bruises easily, and she suffers from chronic fatigue. Robin, now in her thirties, is completely gray.

Robin has a rare condition that prematurely shortens telomeres. Her father had the same condition. Before passing away at forty three, both of his hips had been replaced due to bone and muscle loss. What’s happening to Robin is happening to all of us, just at a slower pace.

In 1961 Leonard Hayflick found fetal cells would divide a finite number of times. This overturned the long-held (and now ridiculous sounding) belief that all cells are immortal. The maximum number of divisions allotted to them could not be altered by his best efforts.

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