The key to eternal life could be a procedure to lengthen chromosomes.
The procedure would allow scientists to lengthen telomeres, the protective caps that are on the end of chromosomes and shorten with age.
The telomeres protect chromosomes from getting damage as cells divide and grow. But as they do, they slowly become shorter and eventually are unable to protect the chromosomes. When that happens, they are liable to deteriorate — thought to be a key part of the ageing process.
The new process allows scientists to lengthen the telomeres, effectively turning back the biological clock and making the chromosomes — and the people that are made out of them — younger.
When the cells have been treated, they behave as if they are younger and multiply quickly rather than stagnating or dying.
The procedure could eventually be used to treat patients with genetic diseases that lead to the telomere being shortened before it should be, such as Duchenne muscular dystrophy. It could also be used to treat more general symptoms of ageing, like diabetes and heart disease.
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SOURCE: The Independent UK. Andrew Griffin