Re: Dolly and telomerase

Anders Sandberg (
05 Oct 1999 11:03:02 +0200

Damien Broderick <> writes:

> The most astounding fact I picked up in my conversations with Dr Jack Cohen
> (and then half lost, having no search facilities with me and not even a
> notebook, so what follows is garbled and unreliable) is that Dolly came
> from a batch of attempts in which Dr Wilmut tried to insert the telomerase
> gene into the clones. Amazingly, all those embryos which incorporated
> telomerase failed; Dolly's genome, however, proved *not* to have taken up
> the gene.

Interesting. Telomerase might likely be important for development; maybe the failed embryos didn't have the right programmed cell death for correct morphogenesis (but isn't that mainly apoptosis rather than senescence?).

Scientifically speaking, it is of course not a good idea to combine two experiments into one (lots of confounding factors), but this sounds intriguing. What about telomerase-enriched mice? I haven't heard anything about them, maybe they don't exist yet, or can't exist?

> Anyway, this is all rather startling if correct. Might put a crimp in our
> plans for Immortality Next Week.

We can postpone it to Halloween, seems more fitting :-)

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y