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In Body’s Shield Against Cancer, a Culprit in Aging May Lurk
NY Times ^ | November 21 | NICHOLAS WADE

Posted on 11/22/2011 4:44:40 PM PST by neverdem

Until recently, few people gave much thought to senescent cells. They are cells that linger in the body even after they have lost the ability to divide.

But on Nov. 2, in what could be a landmark experiment in the study of aging, researchers at the Mayo Clinic reported that if you purge the body of its senescent cells, the tissues remain youthful and vigorous.

The experiment was just in mice, and it cleared the cells with a genetic technique that cannot be applied to people. Like all critical experiments, it needs to be repeated in other labs before it can be accepted with confidence.

But the startling result is plausible because it ties together an emerging body of knowledge about senescent cells. And it raises the possibility that attacks on the cells might postpone the diseases of aging and let people live out more of their life span in good health.

Senescent cells were discovered 50 years ago in a classic experiment by the biologist Leonard Hayflick. He found that human cells cultured in glassware do not multiply indefinitely, as was then assumed, but can divide only 50 or so times before lapsing into senescence...


Senescence is induced in most cells by the activation of two genes, known as p53 and p16-INK4a, that are the guardians and enforcers of proper cell division. When they detect any damage in the cell’s controls, they force it into either senescence or death.

The role of p16-INK4a is to block the cell from dividing. The Mayo team genetically engineered a strain of mice in which whenever a cell became senescent by switching on its p16-INK4a gene, it also primed a cell suicide device. The Mayo team used a special drug to activate this device and clear the mice of all their senescent...

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events; Testing
KEYWORDS: aging; health; senescence; senescentcells

1 posted on 11/22/2011 4:44:51 PM PST by neverdem
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To: neverdem


I have no science background but the article was well written and fairly easy for me to understand.

2 posted on 11/22/2011 5:01:37 PM PST by Mears (I can't take anymore of this.)
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To: Mears

I’m gonna have to chase this further ! Just reviewed my quarterly blood test results with my GP and he - well, really his computer program - highlighted some “off par” results concerning my blood marrow. Hmmm!!!! >PS

3 posted on 11/22/2011 5:23:20 PM PST by PiperShade
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To: PiperShade

Good luck.

Info is too late for me but might be good for the kids and grandkids.

4 posted on 11/22/2011 5:49:08 PM PST by Mears (I can't take anymore of this.)
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To: neverdem


5 posted on 11/22/2011 5:55:18 PM PST by Sergio (An object at rest cannot be stopped! - The Evil Midnight Bomber What Bombs at Midnight)
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To: Mears

“Info is too late for me but might be good for the kids and grandkids.”

I know how you feel - I wonder if the cure for aging will be found - when I’m 80.

Heck, it’s too late now.

6 posted on 11/22/2011 5:58:06 PM PST by The Antiyuppie ("When small men cast long shadows, then it is very late in the day.")
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To: neverdem

Are you kidding? Mouse or not, there will be clinics offering this Fountain of Youth within a year.

7 posted on 11/22/2011 6:05:14 PM PST by txrefugee
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To: neverdem


8 posted on 11/22/2011 6:21:52 PM PST by GOPJ ( Democrats are the only reason to vote for Republicans.... Will Rogers)
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To: All

It’s great being lab rat:

1. Free food
2. Lots of breeding partners
3. Comfy bed
4. No cats
5. Cured of every disease

Just one problem.....getting dissected....just had to be a catch. Dohhhh!!!!

9 posted on 11/22/2011 6:31:14 PM PST by Kolath
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To: neverdem

Purging the senescent cells might buy time, but not immortality, because the teleomeres shorten after multiple divisions. Hayflick found that limit, and found that only cancerous cells bypassed the limit on the number of divisions, becoming immortal if in vitro, or living until they killed the hose if in vivo.

10 posted on 11/22/2011 7:53:12 PM PST by Pearls Before Swine
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To: Pearls Before Swine
Someday, the compromise between getting cells to not cut off telomeres, and getting the body to kill those cells that don't respond to telomere length will be found.

It's all just biochemistry.

11 posted on 11/22/2011 11:06:38 PM PST by VanShuyten ("a shadow...draped nobly in the folds of a gorgeous eloquence.")
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