Re: Re: Human Cell Lifespan Extended

CurtAdams (
Fri, 16 Jan 1998 13:47:40 EST

In a message dated 1/15/98 6:57:30 PM, wrote:

>Here's a thought, our somatic cells have the genes to produce
>telomerase. All we have to do is "order" them to express these genes.
>Since these genes are expressed during the early stages of development
>and germ cells, if we could find out external impulses to control their
>expression, we could have immortal cells without the need for some
>dangerous and expensive procedures.

Yes, but my point, in some post, was that whole-body levels of
telomerase are probably already close to optimal. If the gains
from increasing telomerase exceeded the risks, evolution would
already have cranked it up. In order to get big gains from
toying with telomerase, we will probably have to use it with more
precision than evolution can usually manage.

A whole-body activation of a cancer-limiter is dangerous in the

Also, although genetic manipulation of removed cells is expensive,
we can usually get a few cells successfully manipulated. Thanks
to the glories of exponential growth that may be all that's
required. If rejuvenation also increases response to growth
factors (probable) then just a few skin cells could eventually
replace a whole skin via faster reproduction.