November 30, 2010

Uh-Oh: Age-Related Disease Reversed In Mice?
— Ace

Hmmmm...

We wanted to know: If you could flip the telomerase switch on and restore telomeres in animals with entrenched age-related disease, what would happen? Would it slow down aging, stabilize it, or even reverse it?
It was akin to a Ponce de León [the Spanish explorer looking for the Fountain of Youth] effect. When we flipped the telomerase switch on and looked a month later, the brains had largely returned to normal.

One of the most amazing changes was in the animals' testes, which were essentially barren as aging caused the death and elimination of sperm cells. When we restored telomerase, the testes produced new sperm cells, and the animals' fecundity was improved - their mates gave birth to larger litters.

Why the "uh-oh" in the headline? I don't know. Just seems so big, possibly, it deserves an uh-oh.


Posted by: Ace at 12:51 PM | Comments (77)
Post contains 143 words, total size 1 kb.

1

All that Botox . . . for what? Nothing.

Posted by: Nancy Pelosi at November 30, 2010 12:53 PM (2dOeM)

2 A Scooby Do "Ruh Roh" would be even better, in honor of the previous deviant with dog thread.

Posted by: nerdygirl at November 30, 2010 12:53 PM (uG7PE)

3 Moron question.  What is a telomere?

The answer, provided by the Wiki Gods, is:

Telomere.

Posted by: Kratos (Ghost of Sparta) at November 30, 2010 12:54 PM (9hSKh)

4 The "Uh-oh" is justified. Immortal Mice? Aiiieeeeee!!!

Posted by: Comrade Arthur at November 30, 2010 12:54 PM (MX3bq)

5

all the cool medical breakthroughs seems to happen only in mice. Pretty soon they will overtake us and it will be all our fault. They'll have full heads of hair, long lasting erections, hardy bones, and cancer resistant genetic makeup.

 

We'll be powerless to stop our Frankenmice creations.

Posted by: Ben at November 30, 2010 12:55 PM (wuv1c)

6 I heard that while this apparently works, it also gave the mice cancer.  Still no free lunch.

Posted by: WalrusRex at November 30, 2010 12:56 PM (xxgag)

7 Excellent.

Posted by: M. Burns at November 30, 2010 12:56 PM (bdqou)

8 I am simultaneously terrified and desperately want my telomerase switch turned on!

Posted by: Distwalker at November 30, 2010 12:56 PM (7oX1a)

9 The birth of the zombie acapulcolypse.

Posted by: sifty at November 30, 2010 12:57 PM (bdqou)

10 "All that Botox . . . for what? Nothing." Aw, Nancy, it's not for nothing. That over botoxed mug gives us lots and lots to ridicule. You can't put a price on that. Come on now, do that "surprised" look where you open your eyes super wide. We really laugh at that one.

Posted by: nerdygirl at November 30, 2010 12:57 PM (uG7PE)

11

"I heard that while this apparently works, it also gave the mice cancer.  Still no free lunch."

Cancer can be cured with treatments that damage cells.

Damaged cells can be fixed with treatments that cause cancer.

This cycle will fund healthcare long into the future.

Posted by: MrShad at November 30, 2010 12:58 PM (Xqfwb)

12 Oh great, now I have to hang with you cats to infinity.

Posted by: dogfish at November 30, 2010 12:58 PM (IqdLq)

13 Uh oh.

Posted by: Social Security Budget at November 30, 2010 12:58 PM (twiRb)

14 so ben does get to live longer than micheal. what a shame

Posted by: w at November 30, 2010 12:58 PM (/hdCX)

15 This is really going to fuck up Social Security. Or solve it. Get to work old-timer! You're not dying!

Posted by: 8 at November 30, 2010 12:59 PM (jo7gO)

16 Excelent...Excellent.

Posted by: the Brain at November 30, 2010 12:59 PM (8x4z4)

17 The singularity is nigh, and getting nigher.

Posted by: Farmer Joe at November 30, 2010 12:59 PM (z4es9)

18
Richard Gere is happy

Posted by: Rod Rooter at November 30, 2010 12:59 PM (QMtmy)

19 just as artificial intelligence lead will to SkyNet the "fountain of youth medical breakthrough" will lead a Zombie Apocalypse

Posted by: DanO at November 30, 2010 12:59 PM (RIxJG)

20 #5 Ben, Yeah, and the long lasting erections will especially be a problem for all the caged hamsters and gerbils out there, who will be at the mercy of mice with the dreaded 4 hour erection.

Posted by: nerdygirl at November 30, 2010 01:00 PM (uG7PE)

21 fecundity...nice.

Posted by: garrett at November 30, 2010 01:00 PM (8x4z4)

22 Give me the metabolism I had in my 20s. This time I'll know how to use it!

Posted by: Farmer Joe at November 30, 2010 01:00 PM (z4es9)

23 Speaking of which, who in the pharmaceutical industry decided that the cut off point for a too long lasting erection was 4 hours? Not some middle aged man's poor wife, I'll bet.

Posted by: nerdygirl at November 30, 2010 01:01 PM (uG7PE)

24 "a month later, the brains had largely returned to normal..."

By all means, we need to ratchet this up to tests on human subjects.  Human subjects who vote Democrat.  If amnesty and the DREAM Act are paths to a permanent Democrat majority, teleomerase therapy could result in a permanent Conservative majority.

The science is settled.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at November 30, 2010 01:03 PM (Jdtsu)

25 I think 4 hours is the average length of time for a wife to be out of the house shopping and leave the husband alone with the nanny.

Posted by: sifty at November 30, 2010 01:04 PM (bdqou)

26 There can be only one!

Posted by: immortal mouse at November 30, 2010 01:04 PM (brXVZ)

27 Faster please.

Posted by: Jimmy Carter at November 30, 2010 01:04 PM (EL+OC)

28
Remember the episode of Star Trek: THE NEXT GENERATION when the crew regressed in age and turned back into LITTLE CHILDREN?

Posted by: Soothsayerwing Plover at November 30, 2010 01:04 PM (uFokq)

29 "I heard that while this apparently works, it also gave the mice cancer.  Still no free lunch."

This is ironic, because cancer cells activate telomerase to become "immortal" (i.e. the mechanisms that normally lead to cell cycle arrest are blocked).

Also, the longer cells "live" and divide, the more chance there will be a DNCe replication error that leads to cell malignancy development. 

Posted by: Kratos (Ghost of Sparta) at November 30, 2010 01:04 PM (9hSKh)

30 A more fecund octomom? Just what we were waiting for.

Posted by: CoolCzech at November 30, 2010 01:06 PM (tJjm/)

31

why the uh-oh?

this is why:  One of the most amazing changes was in the animals' testes

first viagra, now this

old people please!!!  if it has alot of wrinkles, don't use it for pron!!!

yuck!

Posted by: navycopjoe at November 30, 2010 01:06 PM (S9k9+)

32 /DNA, gosh!  FIFM.
23 Speaking of which, who in the pharmaceutical industry decided that the cut off point for a too long lasting erection was 4 hours? Not some middle aged man's poor wife, I'll bet.

There isn't enough blood to maintain both heads for more than 4 hours.  Sorry, it is a curse of biology.

/And thus shows the bad wages of decadence. 


Posted by: Kratos (Ghost of Sparta) at November 30, 2010 01:06 PM (9hSKh)

33 28 Remember the episode of Star Trek: THE NEXT GENERATION when the crew regressed in age and turned back into LITTLE CHILDREN? Posted by: Soothsayerwing Plover at November 30, 2010 06:04 PM (uFokq) What really stands out in my memory of TNG is how the writers became increasingly brain dead.

Posted by: CoolCzech at November 30, 2010 01:07 PM (tJjm/)

34 Faster Please.

Posted by: George Soros at November 30, 2010 01:07 PM (iJqzl)

35 let's type that again- just as artificial intelligence will lead will to SkyNet, the "fountain of youth medical breakthrough" will lead to a Zombie Apocalypse

Posted by: DanO at November 30, 2010 01:08 PM (RIxJG)

36

 

Wasn't the Tyrell Corporation working on this?

Posted by: Dr. Varno at November 30, 2010 01:08 PM (QMtmy)

37 25 I think 4 hours is the average length of time for a wife to be out of the house shopping and leave the husband alone with the nanny iMac. Posted by: sifty at November 30, 2010 06:04 PM (bdqou) In the interest of accuracy.

Posted by: CoolCzech at November 30, 2010 01:08 PM (tJjm/)

38 in my opinion, some bright government boy should come up with a plan to spend a few billions of the Social Security trust fund we'll never see to research stuff like this. If people enjoy better health, they won't squawk as loud when we raise the retirement age. Same thing goes for anything that reduces age-related illness. If nobody gets sick, nobody squawks that they don't have as much medicare. And we all live longer. Win-win.

Posted by: Steve Poling at November 30, 2010 01:09 PM (db5YN)

39 Early versions of a telomerase promoter here: http://www.revgenetics.com/store/c-6-astral-fruit.aspx

Posted by: George Soros at November 30, 2010 01:13 PM (iJqzl)

40 *version

Posted by: George Soros at November 30, 2010 01:13 PM (iJqzl)

41 Posted by: Steve Poling at November 30, 2010 06:09 PM (db5YN)

Oh no you don't. I still demand to retire at like 50 and live off the taxpayers dime for the rest of my now endless life!

Posted by: random useless govt. bureaucrat at November 30, 2010 01:15 PM (brXVZ)

42 Don't worry. Once Castro, Qadoofy and future President Joe Biden - not to mention the media lords and union leaders - all become immortal the procedures will be band so most of the problems with population growth will be prevented. Instead of a species of immortals we will just have a ruling class of them.

Posted by: Snake Oil Baron at November 30, 2010 01:15 PM (KaCry)

43 Alright! Get me pregnant, Mickey Rooney!

Posted by: Joanie (Oven Gloves) at November 30, 2010 01:16 PM (wd0Iq)

44 Our new immortal elites will wear goofy headdresses like in Stargate. I just know it.

Posted by: sifty at November 30, 2010 01:17 PM (bdqou)

45 I for one welcome our New Youthening Mice Overlords!

Posted by: CoolCzech at November 30, 2010 01:21 PM (tJjm/)

46 *curling up in fetal position, weeping uncontrollably*

This isn't good... this isn't good... this isn't good... this isn't good...

Posted by: Science Czar John Holdren at November 30, 2010 01:23 PM (brXVZ)

47 Apoptosis happens...

replication errors will increase at an even faster pace when senile cells are re-activated to a post-juvenile state. (cross ref: intercalated errors)

the cancer states will be sledge hammer fast and brutal....

candles - flames - bonfires - nukes - suns - yada yada yada

Posted by: j2 at November 30, 2010 01:24 PM (DCdSz)

48 Once those mice start to sport fully developed human brains... that will be odd.

Posted by: CoolCzech at November 30, 2010 01:28 PM (tJjm/)

49

Would it slow down aging, stabilize it, or even reverse it? It was akin to a Ponce de León [the Spanish explorer looking for the Fountain of Youth] effect.

It was akin to Pamela Anderson getting even bigger tits.

It was akin to my putting two gym socks in my underwear.

It was akin to Joe Klein taking a shower.

It was akin to getting ones rest and eating right.

Posted by: rdbrewer at November 30, 2010 01:31 PM (OVpbA)

50 It was akin to Pamela Anderson getting even bigger tits. It was akin to my putting two gym socks in my underwear. Don't care about DADT, not concerned about octogenarian mice. I'm gonna go look at kitteh pictures for a while in hopes of a new thread appearing.

Posted by: fluffy is wound way too tight at November 30, 2010 01:34 PM (SwkdU)

51 The same thing we do every night, Pinky.

Posted by: The Brain at November 30, 2010 01:45 PM (xxgag)

52 Benjamin Button mice! Cool.

Posted by: somebody else, not me at November 30, 2010 01:46 PM (7EV/g)

53 Great, just what we need, immortal mice.

Posted by: blaster at November 30, 2010 01:51 PM (MrMxG)

54 The same thing we do every night, Pinky.
Posted by: The Brain at November 30

That took 50 posts? For shame.

Posted by: Waterhouse at November 30, 2010 01:56 PM (8Q9M+)

55 We've already seen what a rat with huge, sperm engorged balls looks like. Imagine an immortal Ron Jeremy. Better yet, don't.

Posted by: mark c at November 30, 2010 02:23 PM (SBIko)

56 Now we have yet another reason to kill human fetuses.

Posted by: Forward-Looking Liberal at November 30, 2010 02:24 PM (w41GQ)

57 someone warn lassie.

Posted by: willow -sick of it at November 30, 2010 02:37 PM (h+qn8)

58
If you think the deficit is large now, just wait until people start living to 300. "Uh-oh" doesn't begin to describe it.

Posted by: Brown Line at November 30, 2010 02:39 PM (MnALI)

59

i was hoping to reach old age not worrying about anything but cleaning  the tub.

viagra, cialis, now this. damn'd men!

Posted by: willow at November 30, 2010 02:42 PM (h+qn8)

60 Fuckers.


Posted by: Christopher Reeve at November 30, 2010 02:50 PM (HzhBE)

61 58 If you think the deficit is large now, just wait until people start living to 300. "Uh-oh" doesn't begin to describe it. Posted by: Brown Line at November 30, 2010 07:39 PM (MnALI) I don't think I could handle 3 centuries of performance reviews and asshole bosses at work. Uh huh, baby...

Posted by: CoolCzech at November 30, 2010 02:57 PM (tJjm/)

62 Nuts!

Posted by: Gen McAuliffe at Bastogne at November 30, 2010 02:59 PM (+sBB4)

63 The singularity is nigh, and getting nigher.

My ass. How it tastes, tell me you will.

Posted by: Ray Kurzweil at November 30, 2010 03:12 PM (0IR+C)

64 When we are still paying a teacher's pension and medical one-hundred and twelve years into her retirement.  Uh oh...

Posted by: Haiku Guy at November 30, 2010 03:33 PM (jYjQj)

65 And if it actually works for humans in the future, President Toonces will expect us to pay for it for dole blodgers, so some goddamned dole blodger can stay on welfare forever.

This needs to be expensive. Want another 50 years? Save up some cash for it. Cash in that IRA or 401k.



Posted by: Kristopher at November 30, 2010 04:12 PM (cxBLR)

66 Remember the episode of Star Trek: THE NEXT GENERATION when the crew regressed in age and turned back into LITTLE CHILDREN?

I'm reminded more of the Miri episode.  The Onlys and the Grumps.

Posted by: toby two times at November 30, 2010 04:16 PM (S5YRY)

67 None of you has gotten it.
At some point, sooner or later, technology answers some hugely important questions for an individual. Rationality makes it desirable to make the technology scarce and expensive: until it's not.
Enter the plutocrat. Unless power is "reserved to the States respectively, or to the people", we are where we are.
Tomorrow, "Gattaca" (1997). Today, John Holdren.

Posted by: Thorvald at November 30, 2010 04:41 PM (0VUpt)

68 I wonder how increased longevity will effect marriage, especially for religious institutions.  Divorce rates are already at 50%, and while it's nice to think about how you've found that special someone for the rest of your life, you kind of expect that to mean "40 to 50" years.  What happens when you start hitting 80-90 years of life with that husband or wife?  Especially once the kids are grown and have families of their own, and you're still looking at 60 years to go...


Posted by: Alex at November 30, 2010 04:58 PM (yY28H)

69 Re: cancer

One thing I've learned from my recent medical adventures is that everything. including life, "causes cancer". It's *kind of* bullshit.

Whether it's stem cells or telemorase editing, anything that affects cell growth affects cancer. "Causes" is the wrong word, because the telemorase experiments seem to increase the risk of cancer (be aware that a lot of lab mice are bred specifically to easily develop cancer).

The problem comes when you get a 1.1 RR factor on a 5% increase in cancers in a species bred to develop cancer, and a researcher tells a reporter that the treatment "causes" cancer.

Also, doctors are freakin' paranoid about cancer. I think lawyers have something to do with that, but there you go.

Me, I'm looking forward to some of the better life-extension technologies. Fair warning, if they don't sell it, sooner or later I'll steal it.

Posted by: Merovign, Strong on His Mountain at November 30, 2010 05:16 PM (bxiXv)

70 "If your erection lasts longer than 40 years..........."

Posted by: CMU VET at November 30, 2010 05:28 PM (1WvCy)

71 Do you subscribe to my company's newsletter?  We included this story in our current edition.

I think it's neat, but it doesn't really advance anything yet (still just mice).  Wait about 20 years and see if they're hawking it in doctors' offices.

Posted by: soulpile is... expendable at November 30, 2010 07:22 PM (afWhQ)

72

Quoth Aubrey de Grey on Facebook:

Aubrey de Grey

Spectacularly oversold. The mice are broken in one very well-understood way (no telomerase, so eventually over-short telomeres), and they have been constructed so that that problem can be fixed with a drug, and lo, lots of the downstream consequences of the problem are also fixed. Duh.

 

 

Posted by: TallDave at December 01, 2010 03:06 AM (lNW+B)

73 Dario Dall'agata what do you expect would be the effect of some Telomersase enhancer drug in a healthy aged man? Monday at 8:19am ·   Aubrey de Grey It's still very unclear, but people are trying it. The aspect of aging that is probably the most likely to be helped is the decline of immune function. A lot of people are worried that it could promote cancer, though - but then, some people think it might actually help suppress cancer. We need much more work on this. Unfortunately, telomere biology is one area in which mice are particularly unlike humans.

Posted by: TallDave at December 01, 2010 03:08 AM (lNW+B)

74

Sci-Fi treated this issue many decades ago. If you get to practical immortality there are only several possible outcomes. One is the population overruns the planet. Another is a select population retires from the world behind shielded cities where no births are allowed except a one-to-one with a death. There are some variations on those themes. One variant is - who is going to choose who gets the treatment? If you think the "it's not fair" crowd is a pain in the ass now...

So then.... quasi-immortals. What could possibly go wrong with that?

Posted by: chuck in st paul at December 01, 2010 05:25 AM (EhYdw)

75 SQUEAK.

Posted by: The Death of Mice at December 01, 2010 01:56 PM (egYJy)

76 To the wine shop from the oral ad banners, printing paper, plastic material, and then to television Puma Ferrari Shoes

Posted by: Puma Ferrari Shoes at December 01, 2010 06:05 PM (fbf0W)

77 "image projects."21st 1976 Montreal Olympic Games air max 2011, a loss close to $ 1,000,000,000.

Posted by: Emu Boots at December 01, 2010 06:06 PM (fbf0W)

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