Main Discussion Zone => Science => Topic started by: shnozzola on April 13, 2013, 05:41:57 PM

Title: NYT - want your telomeres checked?
Post by: shnozzola on April 13, 2013, 05:41:57 PM
More science:

......Dr. Blackburn, who shared the 2009 Nobel Prize in medicine for her work on telomeres (TEEL-o-meers), thinks measuring them could give doctors and patients a chance to intervene early and maybe even prevent disease. A company she helped found expects to begin offering tests to the public later this year.

.........Not much was known about telomeres at the time, and she began studying them at Yale in a one-celled organism, Tetrahymena, that she cheerfully calls “pond scum.”

Telomeres are often compared to the plastic tips that keep the ends of shoelaces from fraying. Scientists had long suspected that telomeres protected the ends of chromosomes, but no one knew how. Each time a cell divides, its telomeres shorten, and if they get too short, the cell cannot divide any more. But somehow, in healthy cells, the telomeres were being rebuilt.

Dr. Blackburn deciphered the structure, finding that telomeres consisted of six DNA units, repeated many times. She and a researcher at Harvard, Jack W. Szostak, determined that there must be an enzyme that keeps restoring the telomeres.

 In 1978, Dr. Blackburn moved on to the University of California, Berkeley, and in 1984, Carol W. Greider, a graduate student in her lab, found the enzyme: telomerase.


- always important to remind believers to look back through every discovery of mankind, the ages of work that went into what we have learned, and that at absolutely no time in history has a supernatural being showed up. The beauty of it all is so much more cool and exciting (and important that we don't screw things up for future generations) when you realize there never was an omnipotent sky daddy.

Title: Re: NYT - want your telomeres checked?
Post by: Irish on April 13, 2013, 05:58:34 PM
I would love to have my telomeres checked and analyzed.  I already plan on having my entire genome sequenced and analyzed at some point in the future for personal curiosity and health reasons.  But I know that as far as aging goes my family ages very well.
Title: Re: NYT - want your telomeres checked?
Post by: Nick on April 13, 2013, 06:17:11 PM
I'd like to have my telomeres checked but I have no idea where the hell I left them.
Title: Re: NYT - want your telomeres checked?
Post by: Mrjason on April 15, 2013, 04:00:36 AM
Have you checked out Aubrey De Gray's work on telomeres?

He sounds a bit crazy but is a respected biomolecular scientist from Cambridge University.

He's all over the net this is quite a good article on him and his work though - http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune_archive/2004/06/14/372618/index.htm (http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune_archive/2004/06/14/372618/index.htm)

Great ZZtop beard too
Title: Re: NYT - want your telomeres checked?
Post by: Graybeard on April 15, 2013, 05:48:30 AM
I'm not at all sure that living for centuries is a good idea. Those in power need to be changed at regular intervals to ensure that government keeps up with progress in the world, and the population of the world would double within a century causing starvation and drought.
Title: Re: NYT - want your telomeres checked?
Post by: Mrjason on April 15, 2013, 06:00:03 AM
one of the things De Gray discusses is whether we would actually live for centuries in that whilst our bodies may be the same our mental out look would change considerably over time.
Compare your outlook/beliefs/ideals as a teenager with your outlook/beliefs/ideals as a 30 year old, 40 year old etc.
Would your 300 year old self be recognisable to your 20 year old self?

Could you truly say that you have existed for all of this time?