Re: Immortal Human Cells

Brian D Williams (
Thu, 15 Jan 1998 14:04:50 -0800 (PST)

From: John K Clark <>

>Geron also has a patent on a telomerase inhibitor. Except for
>sperm and eggs most cells don't produce telomerase (some cells
>lining the stomach and intestine produce a little, but not enough
>to become immortal) so this inhibitor shouldn't have many side
>effects, but all known cancers produce lots of it. Geron has a
>sensitive method for detecting telomerase and hopes to use it to
>diagnose cancer. The company also wants to develop its telomerase
>inhibitor into a cancer treatment, if it works it would turn our
>worst enemy into a friend, a fast growing cancer would die of old

>On Tuesday when Geron made the announcement that they had made
>human cells immortal its stock jumped up by 44%, does anybody have
>an opinion about Geron as an investment?

I think you make a pretty good case for it yourself, of course
Geron isn't new to this list..... ;)

On 12/29 I wrote:

>this is from the October 1997 special Transportation issue of
>Scientific American page 28 "In Brief".

>I thought it of interest to the list, and possibly in particular,
>Extropian investors.

>"Immortality" Gene Revealed

>Two teams of scientists-from Geron Corporation, the University of
>Colorado at Boulder, and the Whitehead Institute for biomedical
>research, among others-have cloned the gene for the human
>telomerase catalytic protein, the "holy grail" of aging research.
>This enzyme serves as a key of sorts for rewinding the celular
>clock: cells that produce telemerase, such as cancer cells, are
>immortal. Those that lack the enzyme have a limited life span. The
>researchers hope that by having identified the enzyme, they will
>be able to screen for drugs that can inhibit or activate it.
>Inhibitors might prove to be highly specific and potent anticancer
>agents, where-as activators may well ameliorate diseases caused by
>cell death, including Alzheimer's.

44% KA-CHING!!!

Member, Extropy Institute