Scientists have come across a surprising discovery. A study conducted years ago has shown a link between telomere length and age in mice. Not only has it shown an increase in age and longevity, but the research also shows a decrease in age-related diseases and cancer. Now, there is some evidence for increasing the continuation of life without gene alterations. The credit goes to the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO). Telomeres are sequences of DNA present at the end of each chromosome. The shortening of telomere with successive cell divisions is the primary cause of aging. Maria Blasco and her colleagues decided to investigate the effect of hyper-long telomeres on the age of mice. At CNIO, they created mice in which all the cells had hyper-long telomeres. The findings were very positive. All the mice showed an increase in life.
Interestingly, they were in better health compared to others and were at less risk of developing age-related illnesses, even cancer! Blasco says, “There is a margin for extending life without altering the genes.” Moreover, activating the enzyme telomerase – an enzyme that lengthens telomeres – increases lifespan without any side effects. The Telomere and Telomerase Group at CNIO have conducted multiple studies on the impact of this enzyme. Most of this research was based around altering gene expression, which activated telomerase; however, for the first time, gene alteration is not required to extend life expectancy. A research conducted in 2009 made use of Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (IPS). These cells can differentiate into other types of cells. The study conducted showed that these cells, when divided into a culture, became telomeres of double the length. It is said that in embryonic cells by extending the pluripotent phase. These cells then developed into mice having 30 to 70% long telomeres. The findings of this new research are very promising. Not only the mice live longer, but they also have a better metabolism and fewer chances of cancer and obesity. This research can very well apply to humans. Now we know that an increase in lifespan is possible without genetic alterations. Even more, it is clear that increasing the time spent in the pluripotent phase during early life leads to an increase in lifespan. The mystery of aging is slowly unraveling.
Research on humans with hopes of a fruitful outcome will soon emerge. Comment below to let us know your thoughts. Would you want to live longer?
Until Next Time,
Team Doctor ASKY!