Wednesday, May 16, 2012
For the lazy, researchers in Madrid have successfully "demonstrated that the mouse lifespan can be extended by the application in adult life of a single treatment acting directly on the animal's genes." What they have done is injected telomerase enzymes into adult mice (they used a virus that acts on DNA as a base but replaced the viral genes with those of the telomerase enzymes) and they report that the enzymes have taken effect to the point where they not only repair shortened telomeres (the ends or 'caps' of chromosomes that protect the cell and allow it to divide- when telomeres become shortened to the point of no longer being useful, the cells stop dividing and ages/dies) but they were actually rebuilt. Thus, they end up with rejuvenated cells and an increased lifespan (13-24% depending on the age of the treated mice).
This is AMAZING!
Now, I wonder if they could engineer a way to inhibit telomerase so as to limit cell division ....bye bye cancer?