Re: Telomeres and stuff

From: John Clark (
Date: Mon May 01 2000 - 22:51:42 MDT

<> Wrote:

>Mice cells can go forever in culture;

I assume you mean cancerous mouse cells, the same is true of humans cells.
The most common human cell line is HeLa, taken from the cancerous tumor
that killed Henrietta Lacks way back in 1951, today there must be tons of it living
in labs all over the world. HeLa is so voracious that a few years ago it was found
that other cell lines that were supposed to be different had somehow gotten
contaminated with HeLa cells which just took over the culture, this caused some
confusion before the error was discovered.

> human cells always have a finite lifespan.

That was true until about a year ago when the Geron corporation found a way
non cancerous human cells could be immortalized by lengthening their telomeres.

>I think you may get more divisions prior to transformation, but that's
>not a telomerase issues; it just means longer-lived species have better
>cancer control

Or it could mean telomerase issues have something to do with cancer control.

         John K Clark

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