According to Motherboard, Dr. John Cooke and his team from the Houston Methodist Research Institute claim in a paper published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology to have found a way to reverse ageing in human cells. Reportedly, by targeting telomeres by delivering RNA directly into the cells, they were able to make them produce telomerase, “a protein that lengthens telomeres.” Not everyone is convinced.
According to Dr. Peter Lansdorp, a professor of medical genetics at the University of British Columbia and scientist at the BC Cancer Agency, claims of telomere lengthening are mostly "snake oil." He explained that, despite the excitement, there's still a lot to learn.
Telomeres do tend to shrink as we age, but it's not a perfect correlation, according to Lansdorp. "It is not hard to find a 70-year-old with longer telomeres than a teenager," he said in an email. And there's good reason for telomeres to decline as we age: it's a "tumor suppression mechanism," as Lansdorp put it. Our cells stop dividing and die when telomeres become too short. If that didn't happen, it would put us at higher risk of developing cancer.
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