Anti Aging Today

Theories Of Aging

The Telomerase Theory of Aging

A new theory of aging that holds many promising possibilities for the field of anti-aging medicine is the telomerase theory of aging. This theory was born from the surge of technological breakthroughs in genetics and genetic engineering. First discovered by a group of scientists at the Geron Corporation in Menlo Park, California, telomeres are sequences of nucleic acids extending from the ends of chromosomes. Telomeres act to maintain the integrity of our chromosomes. Every time our cells divide telomeres are shortened, leading to cellular damage and cellular death associated with aging.

Scientists discovered that the key element in rebuilding our disappearing telomeres is the "immortalizing" enzyme telomerase, an enzyme found only in germ cells and cancer cells. Telomerase appears to repair and replace telomeres manipulating the "clocking" mechanism that controls the life span of dividing cells. Future development of telomerase inhibitor may be able to stop cancer cells from dividing and presumably may convert them back into normal cells.

Despite the monumental progress in aging research these has yet to be a unanimous vote on one specific theory of aging, Most of these theories have been disputed by scientists over and over again and many of them, as Dr.Hans Kugler editor of the Journal of Longevity Research, said, "...are dying of old age." Age-related changes do not occur uniformly in individuals; rather they are controlled jointly by genetic and environmental factors which further heightens the difficulty of finding a universal theory. What is universal is that we are all involved in a global-aging phenomenon. Through theoretical gerontology and anti-aging medicine we may eventually discover there is no limit to human life span.

Reprinted with permition From "Stopping the Clock"
by Dr. Ronald Klatz and Dr. Robert Goldman
(Keats Publishing, New Canaan,CT © 1997)

 
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Response to Skeptics:

"Man who say it cannot be done should not interrupt man doing it."
- Chinese Proverb

 

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