Telomerase And Cell Immortality
Cell immortality would mean the body wouldn’t die, and science sees telomerase as the key to cell immortality. Cell’s chromosomes shorten every time a cell divides and without a protective measure in place the genetic information of the chromosomes would be corrupted.
Caps of junk DNA called telomeres protect the chromosome’s genetic information by sacrificing itself. Since it is junk DNA, it shortening doesn’t effect the chromosomes.
The bad thing is once the telomeres are shortened to a certain length the cell can no longer divide and this leads to aging of the cell and death.
The enzyme called telomerase is able to lengthen telomeres and extent the life of cells. The bad thing is the happens on a limited basis with somatic cells (regular cells) of the body.
Scientist are researching to see if there is a way to increase the activity of telomerase with somatic cells to extend the lifetime of human beings.
Would you want to live forever?