I asked Woodring E. Wright, M.D., Ph.D., who with Dr Shay did the key telomerase breakthrough work announced back in January in SCIENCE, how matters were progressing. I had not been able to find any indication since about March 1998 of the on-going survival or otherwise of the fibroblasts treated with telomerase. The March mention on Geron's site was that they had exceeded their Hayflick limit by some 20 replications. Dr Wright now reports:
< All of the cultures continue to divide well. For the BJ fibroblasts, most of the controls senesced at about PD 65, whereas the hTERT clones are now mostly between 180 and 200 PD. Thus, one could say they have now doubled-tripled their lifespan. >
This is wonderful and hopeful news.