Re: "Immortality" gene revealed

Joao Pedro (
Fri, 2 Jan 1998 01:23:05 GMT


Brian wrote:
>"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.

Telomerase might not be the key for immortality. For example, the Galapagos
Tortoise' cells also have a limited number of divisions and yet the members
of the species appear not to age. Their cells also don't have telomerase.
Why do you think telomers are the key to solving aging?