RANCHO CORDOVA, Calif., Aug. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Actor Woody Allen once
said, "I don't want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to
achieve it through not dying."
Developments in nanotechnology may soon make Allen's goal possible, as
biotechnology firms like Telomolecular of Rancho Cordova, Calif., explore
ways to instill aging tissues and organs with indefinite life.
Although this sounds like a Jules Verne sci-fi classic, it's for real.
Nanotechnology firm Telomolecular conducts innovative work in the repair of
damaged chromosomal telomeres, producing new ways to reverse aging in
tissues and organs, and new treatments that may one day cure or even
eradicate cancer. While the elimination of cancer through this technique is
still a long way off, the hope of treatments for such age-related diseases
as macular degeneration, osteoporosis, arteriosclerosis, cirrhosis and
Progeria is right around the corner.
Simply put, telomeres are protein compounds that act like caps on the
ends of chromosomes. When a cell divides, the DNA in its chromosomes is
replicated and passed on to the new cell. Telomeres keep the replication
process on track. With each replication, however, the telomeres shorten,
becoming exhausted as a person or organism ages, resulting in cell
deterioration which is linked to cancer and numerous age-related diseases,
as well as the general aging process.
Nanocircles (a nanotechnology developed at Stanford University) and
vTert (Telomolecular's synthetic enzyme) are capable of repairing damaged
and shortened telomeres. Researchers at Telomolecular believe they've found
a way to deliver Nanocircles and vTert to chromosomes in living organisms,
reversing diseases caused by that damage. The researchers envision the
ability, eventually, to speed the healing process in humans, preventing or
even curing cancer.
"In the laboratory, Telomolecular has regenerated aged tissues that
remain permanently young and live thousands of times beyond their normal
replicative life span," said Matthew Sarad, chief executive officer.
"Duplicated in living animals, this process could cure a variety of
diseases caused by critical telomere degradation."
Commercially, telomere therapy has been successfully used to extend the
life span of cell cultures used in producing pharmaceuticals, growing
artificial corneas, and accelerating the healing process in skin grafts.
Sarad predicts cosmetic use of telomere therapy could be available within
two years, and may not require FDA approval. Other uses of telomere
therapy, as developed by Telomolecular, include regeneration of damaged
muscle and bone, accelerating wound healing, treating trauma disorders such
as strokes, growing replacement organs, and preventing cancer development
during stem cell therapy.
Treating macular degeneration, osteoporosis, arteriosclerosis and
cancer is a lengthy process taking months or years of therapy, often
unsuccessful. But with advancements in nanotechnology and molecular biology
such as those achieved at Telomolecular, it's conceivable that treatment of
these diseases may soon involve only a single, routine outpatient visit to
a hospital or clinic. And shortly after that, preventative treatments may
eliminate those diseases completely.
So, Woody, what might life be like, when we can live forever?
SOURCE Syndicated News, Inc.