Re: [IWAR] BIO cell life extension

From: enelsonat_private
Date: Thu Jan 15 1998 - 15:47:29 PST

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    I'm crying over this one.  Do you have
    an email address through infonex from which
    you can post to G2i?  This one really
    needed to be there as well...
    At 01:54 PM 98 01 15 -0500, you wrote:
    >This has long-term societal implications, one of those breakthroughs
    >that if carried forward will radically change the political economy.
    >   Tuesday January 13 6:30 PM EST 
    >Human Cell Lifespan Extended
    >   NEW YORK (Reuters) -- For the first time, researchers have confirmed
    >   that the "clock" thought to control aging in human cells does indeed
    >   dictate that process. What's more, they have found a way to circumvent
    >   the process -- extending the lifespan of normal, healthy human cells,
    >   according to a report in Science.
    >   The finding has "profound" implications for the study of cancer, which
    >   may use the same process to escape the aging process, according to an
    >   editorial accompanying the study.
    >   And it may lead to treatment for human disease caused by worn out cells,
    >   such as macular degeneration -- the leading cause of blindness in those
    >   over 65.
    >   "This research raises the possibility that we could take a patient's own
    >   cells, rejuvenate them, then modify the cells as needed and give them
    >   back to the patient to treat a variety of genetic and other diseases,"
    >   said senior investigator Dr. Woodring E. Wright in a statement released
    >   by the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. "The
    >   potential long-term applications are simply staggering," said Wright, a
    >   professor of cell biology and neuroscience. The study was a
    >   collaborative effort involving researchers at the medical center and at
    >   Geron Corp., in Menlo Park, California.
    >   Most cells will divide roughly 50 times in the laboratory before
    >   entering a resting state known as senescence, a process that also occurs
    >   in the body. For more than a decade, researchers have suspected that
    >   telomeres, sections of DNA at the tips of chromosomes, control that
    >   process.
    >   Like minutes ticking on a clock, a piece of telomere is lost each time
    >   the cell divides. But some cells contain an enzyme, called telomerase,
    >   that can re-build the telomere after cell division.
    >   In the new study, the gene for telomerase was inserted inside three
    >   types of cells that don't normally carry the enzyme -- retinal pigment
    >   epithelial cells, foreskin fibroblasts, and the vascular endothelial
    >   cells -- or those lining blood vessels. In contrast with cultured cells
    >   that have telomere shortening, the genetically engineered cells
    >   continued to vigorously divide and have long telomeres.
    >   The treated cell population doubled at least 20 more times than normal
    >   and continues to grow, according to the report. The new findings confirm
    >   that telomeres are the "clock" that keeps cells from growing out of
    >   control, according to an editorial by Titia de Lange, of the Laboratory
    >   for Cell Biology and Genetics at The Rockefeller University in New York.
    >   And that mechanism has all "the makings of a powerful tumor suppressor
    >   system," de Lange wrote.
    >   "The results should strengthen the determination of those who are
    >   searching for telomerase inhibitors as potential anti-cancer agents."
    >   SOURCE: Science (1998;279:349-352, 334-335)

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