If wisdom comes with age, what are the implications of this?
If they need human subjects. Sign me up :-) I would marvel at the next centuries, being able to see how we take on Mars and such.
Maybe discover ET life in 2089, yeah being able to use this would be the only thing that might corrupt my otherwise unbreakable principles.
But who am I kidding. We will probably discover this only to see the missiles fall down haha. Sweet irony :-)
Telomerase therapy will probably not subject humans to cancer growth because cancer cells already have plenty of telomerase and that\'s part of the problem. Cancer growth (fast growing) wears out defensive mechanisms precisely because our bodies do not have an endless supply. Current thinking is that by providing our bodies with telomerase extension therapy we would provide a viable mechanism for fight cancer rather than ending up treating it with cancer drugs (and/or expiring). This is aside from the anti-aging effects such as revitalized muscle tone, energy, quality if skin and hair (no word on eyesight or sexual performance yet...).
It is good that scientists have recognized the need to be cautious with this but I\'m afraid that the \"ethics and morality police\" will presume it is their duty to blur the lines between what is technically achievable and what is \"good\" for society. If someone wishes to improve the quality of their life and, as a result, lives longer and healthier, then that should be the individual\'s decision. Would that person also be more productive? North America has stayed out in front because of its incredible ability to innovate. I see no reason to stop now....
What about they turn them on in an 80 year old human and when they are 25 again they turn them of or back to normal telomeres, wouldn\'t that work ?
at the age of 45., i would give it a try
I reckon that most people are trying to shorten the life of mice! lol!
Seriously, imagine the ageing population if this research became successful. The way the World works is: We are born, we procreate, then we die. Look at Nature.
And you think we\'ve got an overly populated planet now? And NINE billion projected in the next forty years??? I, for one, would be delighted if we got what other species got, 6x prime. This would take us to 120, on average, and would surely be enough? LOL
I am sure there are plenty of people that would be willing to take a cancer risk, in exchange for even a short term health gain. My father is 81 and starting to get Alzheimers, I don\'t think he would worry to much about cancer killing him at this point.
If we significantly extend life span, world population already near the breaking point as far as being able to feed all of us, is going to sky rocket. We will have exchanged dying of old age for dying of starvation or war as food runs out.
I would love to get this treatment, when it works. However, if one person (me) gets it, we all should have the right to get it, and that would be a recipe for disaster. The world population is already growing out of control, and if we then lived longer, we should put a serious limit on reproduction, which is NOT a good thing.
So then we would need some way of policing who gets it, and who doesn\'t... Scary idea!
The problem with people like me is that we never matured beyond the age of 12 y.o. so if they give me the injection and reverse my age back 40 years I\'ll be mentally -28 [Minus twenty eight!]
Note that reversing the aging process doesn\'t mean living forever. Life threatening disease still exists, accidents still happen, suicide still exists. hopefully this would just reduce the pain and discomfort of life. My grandfather died at the age of 92 by choking to death on a hotdog after 14 surgeries for colon cancer spanning 25 years that made his life very unpleasant..
The population of developed countries is not actually increasing. In fact without immigration the population of the U.S. would be reducing. Developing countries that still rely on large families to aid in production of food and basic needs are the source of the rapid world population growth. Since these countries are woefully behind in medical technology the risk that the world population would be massively increased as a result is unlikely. Once these countries developed to the point where this medical technology was available to them, they would also have the infrastructure and resources that would allow for stable population growth. Even if they didn\'t develop and this tech was just handed to them, just living in some of these oountries is often a fight for survival.
Nature puts a limit on lives to allow evolution to go on. Extending lives slows down evolution. And if we slow down human evolution, then the evolution of virus and bacteria may overtake us one day and wipe us all out like the black death.
But a small number of people\'s live may be worthly of extending. E.g. if Eistein\'s live was extended, perhaps he could contribute more breakthrough to science.
So, when we are able to extend lives, we could make it very expensive to do so. People whose live is worth extending would be nominated and get institution sponsors.
I think we have a bunch of evil people who want to subject everything to a morality test. There is no moral issue in extending life spans. After all that is why we have doctors and medications and operations. Why cure a person with a bad appendix? How is that different? We extended that patient\'s life by whacking out a sick appendix. The next guy may want to extend his life by slowing down or reversing the aging process.
We already have way too many people on this planet. There is simply no great need to make babies other than enough to replace those who pass away. And the expense of education and training people for useful work need not be duplicated if we can salvage those people already educated.
I\'m imagining a bit of darwinism here. There are people who believe that when we die we die and there are people who would jump on the opportunity to take whatever the drug may be they end up with to extend lives.
Naturally those who are against the drug will die at 80 or so leaving behind those who take it. Sounds like another step in human evolution to me.
To those concerned about the ethics of extended life...
Imagine someone with the wisdom of a person of 100 years, but with the physic and mental sharpness of a 25 year old, and the ability to do something with that wisdom instead of be wheelchair-bound.
Often those among us who try to innovate and push society forward, encourage one to think outside the box. A group of youthful people who have been around for 100 years would be able to think outside the box in ways many of our celebrated champions of academia in society couldn\'t even dream of. And then, what about 250 year old people? 500 year old people? To those who say they would dread living that long, I\'d say there\'s a lack of imagination afoot for what the human experience has to offer, and that one has forgotten what it is like to be young and free.
The cynic among us might proclaim that, really, we stop gaining wisdom after a certain amount of time due to the limitations of the human brain, and 100 year olds would be no more productive then 60 year olds, but I\'d disagree. In our naked unaltered self, perhaps such cynicism would be justified. But in the same way that a computer allows one to store memories and make calculations in ways that humans naturally can\'t achieve; new technological innovations will make extended life far more relevant then we can understand today.
And even if we didn\'t gain more wisdom after a certain point (which I don\'t think would be the case), large benefits would still stand to be gained. To use an extreme example, what if Carl Sagan or Einstein were still around to help us understand science, but their wisdom remained the same? What they would have to offer would be no less valuable... Even if they decided to take a 200 year break and be surfers for a while, then go back to cracking the secrets of the universe.
To those who feel that the Natural Selection method of evolution would be threatened, I say to what end? Natural selective evolution for humans is becoming out-of-date. Eventually humans will need to take the next evolutionary step and, after sufficiently learning how our biology works, evolve our physiology on a time-scale that matches our lifespan and our ethics. Natural selection has a dark side too, you know? Choose any number of ailments that arise due to genetics as an example of the downside of the roll-of-the-dice, shotgun blast, random approach that natural selection \"takes.\" I\'m not knocking it, just pointing out that it\'s not infallible.
I get the concepts, I don\'t get the words. \"X-ase\" usually mease some enzyme that destroys \"X\" so telemer-ase would mean an enzyme that destroys---telomeres. That is the opposite of something that lenghtens them or preserves them from destruction.
Muraculous envisions an arms race between cancer and the natural defenses, which thanks to therapy could continue to fight the (increasedly agressive ) hordes of cancer cells set loose. To me this sounds terrific for the docs and clinics and associated industries.
Somebody should hire Henry Darwin Franken, the guy who wrote this comment!: \"What about they turn them on in an 80 year old human and when they are 25 again they turn them of or back to normal telomeres, wouldn\'t that work ? \"
So to get goofy, this would be the opposite of the mens\' haircut line \"just take a little bit off the around edges.\" We could go in and get a \"little bit\" added to the edges and then stop. It could be like the precautions around radioactivity. A little is o.k. but you must not do too much in a short time.
Lastly, to Ayalahav (The problem with people like me is that we never matured beyond the age of 12 y.o. so if they give me the injection and reverse my age back 40 years I\'ll be mentally -28 [Minus twenty eight!] ) No reason to think this would reverse the learnings either mentally or physically. Just the age of the corpus using the learning would be reversed. Think of it this way, you would be a 12 year old with yet another chance to squander educational oportunities, or not. Plus the pick up lines you would have over your \"contemporaries! Imagine: age, cunning AND youth in one package. Oh, I forgot, and the wisdom to not even want to \"go there\" again!
If I were 80 already, considering how much I\'m feeling my age in my fifties, I think the risk of cancer would have no deterrent effect at all when contrasted with the certainty of impending death if I do nothing. And because this actually REVERSES aging, one can afford to wait for the process to be perfected.
\"Imagine someone with the wisdom of a person of 100 years, but with the physic and mental sharpness of a 25 year old, and the ability to do something with that wisdom instead of be wheelchair-bound.\"
Most teens believe they fit this mold already.
Earth overpopulated? Far from it. Go look up some numbers and do some simple math. For example, if the entire current estimated population were all moved to the State of Texas, each person would have almost 2,000 square feet of space.
Youth is wasted on the young. By the time a human has a lifetime of useful knowledge, he or she is usually too decrepit to make good use of it.
With my luck Id get the injection , have eternal life, and then somehow end up getting Life behind bars !
Life extension is a step in evolution without compulsion. We could choose to live longer or not. If one believes overpopulation is a bad thing he is free to die, but overpopulation, as such, is not the problem. The problem is too many who form gangs (gov) to push others around. The sooner they die the better. We solve problems better when free to act. The more gov we have the less freedom. Without gov holding us back we could build starships and populate the universe.
About the evolution part:I believe this is merely another example of the human race trying/actually controlling nature. We try to take over the evolution of our race our selves. We will probably start developing preeliminary medicines/changes to the human genome, which allows our body to be protected from nature.
Even if we didn\'t, evolution constantly happen in every single human being. Evolution is just another name for genes mutating. Evolution can be positive, resistance to a disease e.g. or negative and result in a genetic disease e.g.
I am 41 years old and still havent enjoyed life as there is still too much to see. So what I would do is tell my next door neighbour who is desperate to lose some years and sure he will try it. If he is successful then lets try it out. YEH!!!!
We can cure most of the cancers and If we apply this to adult stem cell lines the result should be amazing. Step one: Get stem cells from granny. Step two: proliferate some. Step three: hit them with the telomeras. Step four: some go cancer and some don\'t so you kill off the cancers with cancer targeting artificial viruses. Step five: Inject the resulting millions of baby granny cells back into the parts of grannies body that are getting old.
Another way is to design an artificial virus that delivers the telomeras to the cells with a little bit of smart DNA that tests for the cell going cancer and kills it off from the inside.
As a teen myself I find the \"Teens think they know everything/are the main problem with society/think the world owes them everything\" mindset sickening. While you did say MOST think that, all too often I find a blanket \"teens are bad\" opinion, when in actuality only a few of my contemporaries are like that, and I would like to think that I am also not.
You may say that I only think that because I am a teenager, but I could just as easily argue that you have your opinion because you aren\'t.
Sorry to unleash this at you but sweeping generalism based on a few idiots who spoil it for the rest of us really gets me annoyed.
Now, to the article - the \"we could keep great scientists alive\" argument holds until one point. What happens when thay are no longer deemed \"useful\"? Would stopping this treatment be murder?
Population growth is a non-issue. Roughly 90% of the population crowd into 10% of the earth\'s surface. Drive through Mexico sometime... you\'ll see hundreds and hundreds of miles of unpopulated landscape. Sail across the Pacific Ocean, you\'ll get the idea. It\'s simply economic structures that present the problems.
Those who live on and make a difference in our world will continue to do so. Those who don\'t make a difference will continue to do the same. So what?
Death is a disease. Eradicate it.
I\'m 65 and believe me, getting old is not for sissies!
I\'d definetly go for it! I\'d love to see what happens in the next centuries, what kind of technology we use, new energy-types, space-exploration?? :D
Overpopulation yes. But imagine having the great scientific minds working on solving the problems of space travel and thus opening it up. So, more people, more space. Seems like a win-win to me.
I\'m 25, and have been dreaming of being a frontiers man, settling on some other planet someday (yes, too much Orson Scott, I know). Right now, it seems hopeless that it would be achieved in my lifetime. But this way, anything is possible :) Try some positive think for a change people.
There has always been some who say there are too many people on earth, we are running out of food/water/land, we are destroying the planet with over population/global warming/global cooling, and on and on and on.
The fact is that humans have proven that we can work things out as we go along and we don\'t need a roadmap to the future laid out for us to follow.
Let anyone who wants to live longer do so. Those who don\'t want to don\'t have to. End of discussion. The science is settled.
as the granddaughter of two grandmothers who died from Alzheimer\'s complications, I am extremely interested in anything that might help to prevent anyone else in our family from experiencing this physiological injustice. However, it does have potential ties to cancer and no one I know who has dealt with cancer would say they would willingly go through it again if it just prevented some other aging disease.
Everyone seems to be pointing out the things that could be accomplished by people who have gained wisdom through the ages and still feel 25. Is that really consistent with human behavior, though? How many older people do you know who embrace current technology and modern thinking and are prepared to make life-changing discoveries? Or is it that wisdom causes us to be the voice of caution way too often? Many people get stuck in a rut and think their own ideas are best and are unwilling to learn new things. How many of you have taken a dance class lately or learned a new craft or really done everything you can with the knowledge you have? How many of you have been in a meeting and thought \"I can\'t wait for so-and-so to retire! We could accomplish so much more when his/her dinosaur ideas move on...\"
i recall from molecular biology of the cell (3rd year bio), that the definition of cancer is when a cell mutates to produce collagenase type IV, without this the growth is benign tumor as it cannot move to form 2ndry metastasis (held in place by collagen). so, benign tumors may be, cancer nope. by the way telomeres help in collagen production which stops in the 20\'s.
The thing that disappoints me is that they didn\'t think to include a cartoon of a couple of old \"grandaddy mice\" sitting in armchairs wearing spectacles and reading a newspaper article about this stuff, with some witty matching caption. So many possible jokes - such a missed opportunity!!
Someone - please put me out of my misery and draw something cool for us to enjoy!!!
Although I do not see how a rejuvenation of tissues might negatively impact brain tissue as related to memory retention, that is one side effect that might conceivably hamper advanced development of this method. The cancer side-effect may soon be offset by developments such as the following. If anyone can satisfactorily answer the concern mentioned above that would be extremely helpful.
I\'ve had several years of my life stolen from me by health conditions, so I\'d love to have those years given back to me, but only if the health conditions were fixed first and if my loved ones were able to share those years with me, too.
Although, I do think being able to eventually die of natural causes is a good idea. Too much time on this planet might make some people want to kick the bucket, and they may not want to have to do it to themselves.
I also agree with previous commenters. Being older doesn\'t make you wiser or more knowledgeable necessarily. It really depends on the person.
I guess they will up the retirement age....
Some of the information in this article is misleading:
1) It is not simply a matter of telomere length. As rats and humans age over their REGULAR lifespans, all manner of DNA corruption occurs, most having nothing to do with telomere shortening. DNA can be damaged by many sorts of mutagens, which change the DNA sequence. These types of errors in the DNA, if not corrected, are passed on through translation and transcription to form INCORRECT proteins which can cause all sorts of problems. Damages caused by mutagens will happen regardless of whether or not the telomeres are short or long.
2) The researchers basically induced a disease in YOUNG rats with YOUNG DNA that caused them to age rapidly.
3) With the reverse therapy, they simply removed the disease. The rats\' ALREADY YOUNG, UNDAMAGED-by-regular-aging-via-transcription-errors DNA was now able to replicate regularly and to return the rats to the biological features of their PROPER, ALREADY YOUNG (DNA) age. This therapy DID NOT reverse the NORMAL aging process. It simply \"cured\" the induced aging disease.
4) Regardless of a person\'s age. This therapy will ONLY RETARD the aging process from the current age forward. It WILL NOT cause a reversal in actual age because it CAN NOT reverse DNA damage that has already occurred because of transcription errors.
Even so, only RETARDING the aging process is still a WIN! Sign me up!!
I\'m so glad this could send all of your imaginations flying, but it sounds to me like a poison and antidote scenario. They just caused rapid aging in the mice and then corrected it, essentially reverting the mice back to how old they would have been if they weren\'t affected by rapid aging. I don\'t see anything in the article that says they increased the actual lifespan of the mice.
Gee. Look around, Just imagine currently by 1 second 2 people are walking pass by. What it would like if by 0.1 sec. 2 people are pass by? Is there any food left behind to feed enough people? Let nature do the job.
If they do perfect an anti-aging drug it will be very, very expensive. Only the rich will be able to afford it. Do you really think that the powers to be will let any type of burden on society including the poor and working class live indefinetly? What about welfare,medicare,social security and pensions? Would anyone even be able to retire.Ever? And the earth eventually would become over crowded. Fresh water supplies severely strained and then the food supply. And what about war? Who wants to be a soldier knowing you can live forever? I can go on and on with the implications. I just don\'t see it happening for the everyman.
This is certainly great news for the employees of Sierra Sciences in Reno, Nevada. We have been working for the last ten years to find a way to activate telomerase in humans. We haven\'t solved the problem yet, but we are way ahead of everyone else. However we are also short on funding as our investors were hard hit by the downturn, so if anyone knows someone smart enough to want to get in on the ground floor of this trillion dollar business, please have them contact the founder and president of Sierra Sciences, Bill Andrews, firstname.lastname@example.org
I\'d do it, not because I\'m afraid of dying, but because there\'s still so much I want to learn, and currently society doesn\'t make it easy to go to college more than once. I want to study so many things--physics, archaeology, screenwriting, theology, astronomy, oceanography, languages--but that\'s more than one can do in one life, because by the time (s)he learns all that there is no life left to do anything productive with it. So no, I would not mind it if I could stay my current age, 19, forever.
Please... please... please work on this more. This is so important to me and the world. To see that it is in our grasp brings me so much happiness. To see that this is a possibility makes me feel so excited and relaxed, and also understood when I see other people happy about this too. It worries me that this might be put aside for other projects or reasons. I care about this SO MUCH that it's been the biggest thing on my mind lately.
Imagine how much better this world would be with such a procedure. Those who want to reverse their age can, and those who don't have a choice not to. I know I would certainly do it. Growing old is only scary because it's a "one way" process. However, if we have control it, growing old is not bad at all. :) I would LOVE to see what I'm like at 75, and then be 15 the next day. It's like getting hungry. It's not such a big deal because all you need to do is eat something to feel better and be healthy.
Imagine how many diseases and problems this can fix. Imagine the money we'll save in healthcare. Imagine the fears that will be reduced. Most importantly, imagine how much more beautiful life will be with something like this in it. Life is a great thing. Let's make it last as long as possible so we can keep enjoying it! We can be with our friends, families, and hobbies. :)
This is probably the #1 most important discovery of mankind when this is mastered.
Please hurry with this. Please get more funding. Please get more people researching this. Please give this wonderful thing to the world.
This is like saving the world from a disease everyone has.
pleeeeeaaaassssse pick me i dont want to die. I have always wondered and now its happen the key to immortality so when i become (im 13) a biologist ill will study this as one of my projects :) :) :)
Would you be one of them?
Why the hell wouldn't I be one of them?
Talk about rhetorical questions.
I am all for this process and would even be willing to undergo it. I do place a requirement though. The people that undergo the process must be completely and irrevocably be sterilized (hysterectomy for females and orchiectomy for males). Unless we are colonizing the ocean bed or outer space we do not need a lot of people 100+ that are still fertile.
someday in a far off future a great crystal ship will arrive at earth to study it as it will be by then a burnt out rock, the first thing they find is a small group of immortal super mice, created in mankind's labs in past. the mice went with the crystal beings to be studied and understood...
Some people really have no imagination or problem solving abilities. Not that this makes them stupid (they could have great memory recall or what have you) but my point is, stop, think about what you are saying and UNDERSTAND the possibilities before deciding to shout you opinion as the ultimate truth. I wrote that paragraph in response to a few comments on here e.g.
It will cause overpopulation - the more developed a country is, the less children they tend to have, I doubt my friends will have enough children to replace themselves. Also perhaps you could make a caveat with those receiving this treatment that they also have to be infertile - drug or otherwise, it does not matter. Problem solved.
As a side note to overpopulation is environmental concerns. Do you know that a single meteorite wiped out more species of animal and destroyed mind boggling amounts of forest than humans will ever achieve. Yet you think your experience of nature is the true version of it? It's always changing and adapting and I could argued that change is actually beneficial when it comes to the strength of a ecosystem. Without change animals can't adapt and when something major (like the meteor strike) happen than a huge range of niche animals suffer.
Evolution will stop - evolution in regards to modern humans is essentially irrelevant. You honestly don't know humans can change our genes to provide beneficial effects? Especially within the time frame of typical evolutionary changes. We can all ready alter an animals genes within a tiny fraction of the time of what it has taken evolution to allow certain humans to digest milk AND that particular ability was all ready in our DNA! Within decades we will be able to alter a persons genome with almost perfect precision and outcome.
Morally or ethically wrong - I'm only gonna say this... WHY IS LIVING LONGER UNETHICAL? I will not accept religious or emotional attachments to the way it has always been done as valid reasons. If they are to you than that's fine, just don't accept any treatment that extends your life.
A lot of you guys who are debating if an elderly person would want to live forever or would even be capable of the mental flexibility to innovate which has been repeatedly referenced are not considering that:
Many of the mental changes which occur over time probably have a lot to do with brain physiology (in addition to merely the accumulation of knowledge). What I'm saying is: If an 80 year old man received this hypothetical treatment and reverted to the body of his youth, he would probably then also be more inclined to explore and innovate, what with his brain working better, him being in a better mood, feeling better, having more energy, etc. I don't think that people become sedentary and averse to change simply because their minds have aged. I think it has more to do with the body gradually becoming more and more uncomfortable and less and less effective (leading to laziness, etc.).
I got into this kinda stuff when I heard about scientists infusing an old mouse with blood from a younger mouse, and the old mouse gradually began to grow younger.
So, I theorise to eliminate the possibility of cancer growths, infuse a
subject with younger healthier blood on a regular & ongoing basis.
And as for the oh-so elusive cure for cancer?
Simple, create an enzyme that destroys all dna on cancer cells' telomares, do that & the cancer cells can no longer replicate & when cells can no longer replicate, they start to die.
Essentially, the logic behind that is the diametric opposite.
It's not exactly rocket science, however that is simple also, just a combination of mechanics, aerodynamics & basic physics.
Cancer is cells replicating out of control, so to avoid cancer in human trials find a way to control the replication processes. Easy peasy.