What if one's telomeres began to lengthen instead of shorten?

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posted on Feb, 5 2013 @ 11:57 PM
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What if somebody's telomeres began to lengthen? I mean naturally, say by some freak mutation or just something random? What would occur to the person?

Say, for example, the telomeres began to lengthen at 20 years of age instead of shorten...?

Interested in thoughts - should prove to be an interesting discussion.

P.S.

I promise I shall limit my thread output - just interested in some things that's why.




posted on Feb, 6 2013 @ 12:02 AM
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Eventually, you get cancer.

We're designed to die.



posted on Feb, 6 2013 @ 12:04 AM
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reply to post by HomoSapiensSapiens
 


For those who may want to know what Telomeres are......


What are telomeres?

Like the rest of a chromosome and its genes, telomeres are sequences of DNA - chains of chemical code. Like other DNA, they are made of four nucleic acid bases: G for guanine, A for adenine, T for thymine and C for cytosine.

Telomeres are made of repeating sequences of TTAGGG on one strand of DNA bound to AATCCC on the other strand. Thus, one section of telomere is a "repeat" made of six "base pairs."
Telomere Length

In human blood cells, the length of telomeres ranges from 8,000 base pairs at birth to 3,000 base pairs as people age and as low as 1,500 in elderly people. (An entire chromosome has about 150 million base pairs.) Each time a cell divides, an average person loses 30 to 200 base pairs from the ends of that cell's telomeres.

Cells normally can divide only about 50 to 70 times, with telomeres getting progressively shorter until the cells become senescent, die or sustain genetic damage that can cause cancer.

Telomeres do not shorten with age in tissues such as heart muscle in which cells do not continually divide.
learn.genetics.utah.edu...


Des



posted on Feb, 6 2013 @ 12:05 AM
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I expect you wouldn't deteriorate, you would be effectively immortal, but you would die of some disease or in an accident eventually.



posted on Feb, 6 2013 @ 12:06 AM
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Artificially lengthening telomeres in cell cultures didn't automatically lead to cancer, it was sort of interesting.

Probably part of a life extension fix, but by itself, no.



posted on Feb, 6 2013 @ 12:10 AM
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Originally posted by Bedlam
Artificially lengthening telomeres in cell cultures didn't automatically lead to cancer, it was sort of interesting.

Probably part of a life extension fix, but by itself, no.


Not my point.

Cancer is inevitable if you live long enough.



posted on Feb, 6 2013 @ 12:17 AM
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reply to post by unityemissions
 


Lots of people live a long time without cancer. It sort of depends on how good your immune system is at wiping that sort of thing out. Everyone has neoplasms, all the time. If I get a nice biopsy, you look long enough with a scope, you'll find some freaky misshapen cells in there. In practice, you generally get rid of them.



posted on Feb, 6 2013 @ 12:24 AM
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reply to post by Bedlam
 


That is entirely besides the point.

If you extend life enough, the immune system will eventually falter and cancer will result.
edit on 6-2-2013 by unityemissions because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 6 2013 @ 12:26 AM
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reply to post by unityemissions
 


Sorry - it IS the point. You constantly eliminate neoplasms. If you didn't, you'd be dead out of the gate.

If you're able to eliminate cell senescence, you won't have a faltering of your immune system.
edit on 6-2-2013 by Bedlam because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 6 2013 @ 12:29 AM
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bit difficult to accomplish really...adding during a split verses subtracting...

Anyhow, Telomeres are, if my very ancient science lessons are being remembered correctly, the basic limit of replication at the moment..and tends to have full body shutdown at about the 125-30ish year of life.

Obviously people die from a multitude of other things before even coming up to that problem.

So ya..the limit would possibly be extended, but its not like we would benefit from it overall due to it not actually slowing down the decaying process life tends to give.

Can you imagine what a 400 year old person would look like...without of course any benefit of slowing aging down...raisin comes to mind.



posted on Feb, 6 2013 @ 12:29 AM
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If telomeres began to lengthen instead of shorten , the person will live forever . His aging process will definitely stop. That person will be forever young . I don't think cancer develops when telomeres lengthen

edit on 6-2-2013 by spaceknight because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 6 2013 @ 12:31 AM
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reply to post by Bedlam
 


Mutations accumulate, and the ability for cell death diminishes over time. Eventually cancer is the result.

That some people live to be over 100 and die without cancer means nothing.

You're using things as they are now to extrapolate on a hypothetical that transcends it.

Makes no sense.



posted on Feb, 6 2013 @ 12:33 AM
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Originally posted by SaturnFX
So ya..the limit would possibly be extended, but its not like we would benefit from it overall due to it not actually slowing down the decaying process life tends to give.

Can you imagine what a 400 year old person would look like...without of course any benefit of slowing aging down...raisin comes to mind.


In skin cultures, it reversed age related decline. Seems to in critters as well, but yeah, there are a lot of other problems you end up with - it's not immortality. For one, your cells build up waste products they're not able to get rid of. If they live long enough, divide enough times, that'll poison them too.



posted on Feb, 6 2013 @ 12:40 AM
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Originally posted by unityemissions
reply to post by Bedlam
 


Mutations accumulate, and the ability for cell death diminishes over time. Eventually cancer is the result.

That some people live to be over 100 and die without cancer means nothing.

You're using things as they are now to extrapolate on a hypothetical that transcends it.

Makes no sense.


Any neoplasm is a mutation. When cells fail, they generally display the wrong surface antigens and the immune system takes them out. Not always, obviously.

That people live to 100 and die without cancer means that even in a senescent organism, it's possible to continue to eliminate neoplasms. QED.

You, also, are extrapolating based on things as they are, no?
edit on 6-2-2013 by Bedlam because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 6 2013 @ 12:56 AM
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Tissue cultures wouldnt give one a whole effect, as would organism cases.

Don't long telomeres in humans so far increase cancers and other physical retardations/complications, than longetivity?



posted on Feb, 6 2013 @ 01:04 AM
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reply to post by tropic
 


No. Cawthon 2003 established strong positive correlation between long telomeres in humans with longevity and disease resistance.

Here's you a nice link from Science Direct you don't even have to pay for. At least, I think you don't, I'm doing this from work so the certificate I'm using might be getting me the article.

edit on 6-2-2013 by Bedlam because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 6 2013 @ 01:10 AM
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reply to post by HomoSapiensSapiens
 


they are buffers and are consumed during cell division.

I would think that nothing happens. They would be one hell of a buffer for chromosomes.

Or they would cause fusion to occur the way Humans have with the last 4 chromosome pairs to produce 2 really funky pairs of them....



posted on Feb, 6 2013 @ 03:22 AM
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If it did have the resulting effect of extending life.

Imagine in a few hundred years. We'd be shoulder to shoulder unable to bend over to pick up that grain of rice that the elites have dropped from the hoverplatform above us.

I dont wanna..



posted on Feb, 6 2013 @ 03:30 AM
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reply to post by winofiend
 


I have to disagree their winofiend, they say if you stood everyone on Earth side by side you would only fill the Isle of Man (not a very big place).

Look at the UK for example, only 1.5% of its land is actually built on, I would say Australia is even worse(better?).

A few hundred years wont make much of a difference.

I think the bigger problem will come from the food source.
edit on 6/2/13 by woogleuk because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 6 2013 @ 07:28 AM
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reply to post by Bedlam
 


Cancer is a multifaceted disease which arises from unfortunate mutations.

There are several specific mutations that need to happen for cancer to occur, and even then, you have tumour suppressant capabilities that can outpace any cancerous division.

The real problem comes when your tumour suppressing genes also mutate in such a way as to impede their function. When that happens, AND your oncogenes are mutated in the right way, cancer happens.

Doing one without the other will not cause cancer, both at the same time is bad.

unityemissions is right, in a way, cancer IS nature's catch all killer, it's like a death redundancy mechanism to make sure you die eventually even if you avoid the wolves and the cars and the falls and the pathogens and the too much sunlight and the not enough sunlight. Cancer will always get you. It will happen eventually, it's inevitable due to the random nature of mutation, it's like playing russian roulette but with a massive barrel and 1 bullet. Eventually, you will shoot yourself, it might take a lot of spins, but eventually it will happen.

That said, if we change the OP's scenario slightly and say we manipulate our telomeres in to lengthening during mitosis, we would probably have the ability to manipulate the rest of our genome too, effectively ending disease.
edit on 6-2-2013 by Dispo because: (no reason given)





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