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Thread: What if somebody's telomeres began to lengthen, instead of shorten?

  1. #1 What if somebody's telomeres began to lengthen, instead of shorten? 
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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.


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  3. #2  
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    I guess that somebody with this gene mutation will be immortal. Or just one step to immortality. Scientific studies have shown that people with longer telomeres live longer and healthier.


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  4. #3  
    Northern Horse Whisperer Moderator scheherazade's Avatar
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    The following article may be of interest to this discussion:

    Telomerase, the enzyme complex responsible for elongating telomeres, is activated in approximately 90% of tumors. However, a sizeable fraction of cancerous cells employ alternative lengthening of telomeres (ALT), a non-conservative telomere lengthening pathway involving the transfer of telomere tandem repeats between sister-chromatids.
    Telomeres and Cancer
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  5. #4  
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    That is a interesting question. However the claim of becoming immortal is still not possible. Your cell growth does not solely depends upon your DNA length. Off-course its a checkpoint for a cell cycle or cell growth but cell division have dependence upon many other factors like mutations, foods availability, etc. You can't continue to grow your cells if you are starving. Even if you overcome that your are still prone to infections and diseases and if you still overcome that you can't run away from cancer. Our body continuously produce some cancer cells which are been kept under check by our immune system. So the more you live the probability of getting a cancer increases.

    Check this paper on cancer -
    ScienceDirect.com - Journal of Theoretical Biology - Mutation?selection networks of cancer initiation: tumor suppressor genes and chromosomal instability


    Cell biology: Developmental predisposition to cancer : Abstract : Nature
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  6. #5  
    Forum Sophomore laza's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gurukant View Post
    However the claim of becoming immortal is still not possible.
    Turritopsis nutricula - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    the jellyfish disagrees
    "There is grandeur in this view of life,from so simple beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.
    Charles Darwin
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