Saturday, December 27, 2008

Telomere article from 2003

I had no idea that people have been talking about telomerase activation since 2003. Maybe even earlier.

Check out this article from January 2003.

Could extending telomeres, those bits of DNA at the ends of chromosomes in cells, prolong lives?

Some scientists think so.

Researchers in the United States, who discovered that elderly people with longer telomeres lived five to six years longer than people with shorter ones, think increasing the length of telomeres could be a possible key to a longer life.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Does TA-65 really cost $25,000??

From Newsweek magazine
Telomere biologist Bill Andrews of Sierra Sciences is taking a telomerase-boosting supplement called TA-65. "I believe it's safer than driving my car to work," he says. Since he started taking it a year and a half ago, Andrews says he has moved from the back of the pack to the front in 100-mile runs known as ultramarathons. But don't expect to find TA-65 at your local Vitamin Shoppe. It is available only from TA Sciences—for $25,000 a year.
Newsweek has it wrong. TA-65 costs less than $25,000. Prices are listed on the Patton Protocol page. And a good part of the fees come from testing your biomarkers of aging.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Telomere enzyme a likely key to longevity

A new experiment suggests that the enzyme telomerase can extend the lifespan of mice by about 26 percent.

I thought this was a good explanation of what telomeres are and what telomerase does:

Telomerase lengthens telomeres — the “caps” on the end of chromosomes that protect DNA from damage. Like burning fuses, telomeres normally get shorter each time that most body cells divide. After a certain number of divisions, the telomeres in the daughter cells become too short and the chromosomes start to degrade, thus preventing the cells from dividing any further. So this shortening of telomeres places a limit on the number of times that most body cells can divide, the so-called Hayflick limit.

Telomerase enables the cell to divide indefinitely by adding back the bit of telomere lost during each cell division, essentially keeping the fuse from burning. Previous research has shown that adding an active copy of the telomerase gene to human cells causes those cells to surpass the Hayflick limit and apparently divide without end. But people with longer telomeres don’t necessarily live any longer than people with short telomeres do, so evidence for a link with lifespan has been fuzzy.

Read more in Science News

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Astragalus Root

A new UCLA AIDS Institute study has found that a chemical from the Astragalus root, frequently used in Chinese herbal therapy, can prevent or slow this progressive telomere shortening, which could make it a key weapon in the fight against HIV.

The study, to be published in the Nov. 15 print edition of the Journal of Immunology, is available online at

TA-65 is made from the Astragualus root. But according to T.A. Sciences, you can't just run out to the healthfood store and swallow a bunch of herbs. They have a special process to make TA-65. The drug used in the UCLA study is TAT2. TAT2 and TA-65 were both discovered by Geron.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Even Oprah knows about it

Dr. Oz, author of You: Staying Young: The Owner's Manual for Extending Your Warranty the omentum—the dangerous belly fat that hurts your heart—into a household word. Now he’s got a new vocabulary word he wants you to know—telomeres.

Just like the tip of a shoelace keeping the threads of the lace from fraying, a telomere keeps the chromosomes from fraying, too. A properly functioning telomere will keep chromosomes healthy, which allows them to reproduce cells.

But if you are worn down by stress, your telomeres will break down. “And then guess what? You can’t reproduce your cells anymore,” Dr. Oz says. “And when you can’t reproduce cells, you’re old and you’re frail.”

Dr. Oz says telomeres contain new information about aging that is vitally important. While doctors used to think that only certain organs could rebuild themselves, they now know that all our organs can be replenished with new cells if we have functioning telomeres.

“Aging is not about avoiding breakage—that’s not what it’s about. Aging is about repairing what’s broken,” he says. “When you lose the ability to repair, you become frail.”

Dr Oz actually measured Oprah's telomeres and it turns out that she is in pretty good shape!