Sample Essay: Scientists Reverse Aging in Mice

hospitalThe issue of immortality is an integral part of the human philosophy. The will and longing to reach such a desired eternal life had been depicted many times in literature and even by scientists who tried to create an item which would lead to immortality. Philosopher’s Stone, immortality fountain, the elixir of life, the golden apples in the Norse mythology and it is just a short list of mythical artifacts that provide immortality. Humans were always fascinated by the possibility to live forever. Entire beliefs and religious practices were based on the wish not to die. Is it possible in real life, though? This is still an open question.

As scientists say, it is possible on paper; in practice, it is probably possible as well. First of all, the cause of aging must be clear. We age because of our cells’ limits. They have a certain limit of the division. Such a phenomenon is known to the scientific world as the Hayflick limit. It happens when cells divide up to sixty times, and after the sixth division, they are unable to reproduce more because of the lack of a pivotal material for their reproduction and as the result die.

There are some creatures on Earth that have no such a limit and are thought to be able to live forever (they die because of diseases, though). That is why a group of scientists from Harvard University tried to reverse the process of aging. They had been testing the adding the enzyme telomerase in the experimental cells of mice. It worked. The aging cells were proved to successfully regenerate and repair the damage caused by aging. The same result was recorded after testing it on the human skin cells. So, after having been exposed to telomeres, cells can continue their division process. The scientists have also discovered that even already aged mice with low telomeres production rate can regenerate after the injection of a telomeres stimulator. So in fact, sought-after immortality turned out to be quite possible.

Obviously, there are certain unwanted side-effects. Cancer cells also need telomerase for the division process. Its ability for regeneration is what actually kills us as the result. Moreover, the actual experiment was conducted on the mice and the possible results on humans may be exceedingly opposite. There are still more testings to be held by other experienced research teams in the nearest future; and before there is no precise data approved by many significant researchers, there is no potentiality of commercialisation it as an „elixir of life“ of our times. The high risk of cancer development, actually, makes the potential use of the telomerase quite questionable even in the later future. Unless it is proven that the chance of fostering cancer is not increased by using “the elixir”. Many people, though, still have a glimmer of hope that this recent discovery will enable us to postpone or even get rid of all the aging problems.

References:

  • Double, J. and Thompson, M. (2002). Telomeres and telomerase. 1st ed. Totowa, N.J.: Humana Press.
  • Fossel, M. (2017). Telomerase Revolution. 1st ed. [S.l.]: Benbella Books.
  • Mattson, M. (2001). Telomerase, aging and disease. 1st ed. Amsterdam [u.a.]: Elsevier.
  • Poljsak, B. (2010). Decreasing oxidative stress and retarding the aging process. 1st ed. New York: Nova Biomedical Books.
  • Preventing falls and fractures. (2004). 1st ed. [Bethesda, Md.]: National Institute on Aging, U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, National Institutes of Health.
  • Rai, A., Naikmasur, V. and Kumar, A. (2012). Telomerase and Oral Cancer. 1st ed. Saarbru?cken: LAP LAMBERT Academic Publishing.
  • Telomerase activity in breast cancer, promising marker of disease progression. (2015). Telomere and Telomerase.
  • Telomere length variation reduces with age: evidence of survivor effect. (2015). Telomere and Telomerase.
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Posted in Essay Sample, Writing Blog at June 13th, 2017.
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