Wednesday 11th February 2015

New Technique Fights Aging

A new technique, developed by Stanford scientists, can extend the life of cultured cells and offer clues to solving diseases and prolonging life.

The technique can quickly increase the length of human telomeres, the protective caps on the ends of chromosomes. As a result, the treated cells behave as if they are much younger and multiply with abandon in the laboratory dish – rather than stagnating and dying. Normally, telomeres shorten with each cell division, and this is the reason a cell eventually dies.

Now we have found a way to lengthen human telomeres by as much as 1,000 nucleotides, turning back the internal clock in these cells by the equivalent of many years of human life,”said Helen Blau, PhD, professor of microbiology and immunology at Sanford, in a statement.

“This new approach paves the way toward preventing and treating disease of aging,” said Blau. “There are also highly debilitating genetic diseases associated with telomere shortening that could benefit from such a potential treatment.” – Harrison McClary


Saturday 12th December 2015

Cellular ageing specialist Dr Mark Bonar is passionate about the very specific degradations that happen in the cells of the body as we age — and still more excited about the new ways he can use to slow such deterioration. Consider, for example, telomeres.

Telomeres are the caps on the ends of our DNA,’ Bonar explains. ‘A bit like the plastic on the end of a shoe lace, they prevent the ends from fraying. By measuring their length in the lab we can determine how well the body is ageing’ — for instance, if at 30, you show the wear and tear you’d expect in a 40-year-old. ‘The length can also inform you about your risk of various kinds of disease such as breast or bowel cancer.’

More dramatically, Bonar continues, a product has been patented — it has been around in the States since 2011 — called TA-65, which can rebuild your telomeres, pausing this process central to ageing.

In fact, by making the telomere length longer, you can actually make cells ‘younger’, he argues. In one study, fruit flies given TA-65 doubled their life expectancy, while another study on rats discovered that the risk of them developing certain cancers fell by some 30 per cent. And yes, Bonar can prescribe it for you, in a capsule or a cream. – Rebecca Newman


Friday 29th July 2016





Telomeres are protective caps on the end of chromosomes.

Each time a cell divides the telomeres become shorter. When they get too short, the cell can no longer divide.

At this point the cell becomes inactive (senescent) or it dies. This is associated with both aging and disease.

The theory is to increase levels of the enzyme Telomerase which prevents the telomeres from shortening.

TA-65 is a drug which is claimed to increase telomerase, but results so far are mixed and peer reviewed studies are lacking.

The goal of maintaining telomere length to increase life expectancy is controversial due to its association with cancer.

Cancer cells produce telomerase which enables them to prevent telomere shortening. Unfortunately this enables the cancer cells to divide uncontrollably and wreak havoc.

Overall, it’s possible that increasing telomerase in the body is misguided and will do more harm than good. – Lee Banfield, Exploring Anti-Aging Strategies


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