NEW YORK, April 9, 2007 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Telomerase Activation
Sciences, Inc. (TA Sciences) announced on March 12 its license with
Geron to develop and market non-therapeutic products using Geron's small
molecule telomerase activators. Now TA Sciences announces the opening of
the TA Sciences Center in Manhattan where customers can purchase TA
Sciences' first product, a nutraceutical containing the telomerase
activating agent "TA-65."
"TA Sciences welcomes our first customers and the launch of the world's
first telomerase activator product," said Noel Thomas Patton, founder of
TA Sciences. "A natural consequence of aging is the shortening of
telomeres (caps of DNA located at the ends of all chromosomes), which
ultimately results in loss of cell function. TA-65 offers the potential
of reducing or reversing telomere shortening and battles tissue and
organ degeneration by rejuvenating aging cells."
TA-65 is the result of vigorous scientific research that began at Geron
in 1992. Already the response from the scientific community to the news
of TA Sciences' ground-breaking launch has been very enthusiastic:
"Telomerase Activation is the single most promising approach to
reversing the effects of aging," said Michael Fossel, MD, PhD., Clinical
Professor of Medicine at Michigan State University, author, and
recognized authority on aging and age- related clinical disease.
And Dr. William H. Andrews, founder of Sierra Sciences, LLC and one of
the principal discoverers of the telomerase genes, said: "Cleopatra,
Ponce de Leon, and untold others throughout the ages have searched for
the secrets of youth. That search has been futile, until now: Telomerase
Activation is the first and only scientifically sound way to approach
anti- aging. TA-65 is the first product in history that has been proven
to slow or reverse cellular aging. Congratulations to TA Sciences and
On April 30, 2007 TA Sciences plans to publish the results of the
Pivotal 2005 Anti-Aging Trial, which is the first ever human clinical
trial of a telomerase activator. This trial shows statistical
verification of the anti- aging benefits of telomerase activation.
The TA Sciences Center is located at 24 E. 64th Street in New York. The
company offers its telomerase-activating products as part of the 12
month "Patton Protocol." The driver of TA Sciences' product line is the
telomerase- activating small molecule "TA-65," sold under license from
Geron. For more information on TA Sciences visit
http://www.TASciences.com or call 888-360-8886. For more information on
Geron visit http://www.Geron.com.
SOURCE TA Sciences Inc.
CONTACT: Greta Blackburn of TA Sciences Inc., cell, +1-818-634-5941
The "product" is not a drug, but rather a "Chinese plant extract" of
some sort. The TA Sciences website offers such claims as "male sexual
enhancement", "softer skin", "clearer vision", etc. Red flags are
already popping up all over the place!
I have a feeling that this "Pivotal 2005 Anti-Aging Trial" to be
announced at the end of the month will be a poor-quality, unpublished
Is Geron not a legitimate player in life-extension technology? If
they are, then it might be possible to read claims such as "male
sexual enhancement" (it does lengthen your telomeres, after all) as
the only sort of puffery that's allowed without FDA consent. I.e.,
they're explicitly promoting the stuff for "non-therapeutic" purposes,
whatever those might be. Meanwhile, as possible flagrant scams go,
this one's ultimate profit potential seems low, and its risk to
- - - - - - - -
YOUR taste at work...
>From the Monday, April 9, 2007 post at:
The "Anti-Aging" Marketplace At Its Terrible Best
Looking at this press release, I have to wonder if the folk at Geron
know what they've letting themselves in for, partnering with these TA
Sciences people and their TA-65 product.
Looking around the TA Sciences site (via Google, since they don't link
much from the home page), the FAQ makes it much more clear what
they're up to - selling herbs, essentially - and just how deceptive
the uber-scientific cover and hyping of telomeres and telomerase is
for that activity. It reminds of the pitch for Protandim; a little
piece of interesting scientific research stretched out thin as
possible to cover a cartload of marketing for herbal compounds.
TA Sciences follows stringent scientific procedures to back up the
safety and efficacy of our products. Over the last four years we have
conducted a series of studies including, most importantly, the Pivitol
2005 Anti-Aging Trial designed to directly measure the effect of TA-65
when taken internally. In this trial we saw a clear reduction in the
signs of aging from the introduction of TA-65 into the bloodstream.
TA-65 is a naturally occurring molecule found in the ancient Chinese
herb Astragalus. Well known to most of China's 1.3 billion people for
over 1000 years, Astragalus root can be found in every traditional
Chinese herbal shop. Major health benefits from this plant have long
been recognized by practitioners in China, but never before has the
TA-65 active ingredient been isolated and purified.
"Clear reduction in the signs of aging," if you read the footnotes, is
parsed out into a vague statement on telomerase activity which means
nothing of the kind. So here we have the same old marketing nonsense,
dressed up in flashy scientific clothing to give it the veneer of
legitimacy. Same old attempts to adopt the form of science without the
substance of science, the same old corrosive misinformation and look
and feel games. To that end, Geron are going to see their name
mentioned every other word for so long as it drives sales to the
Don't be duped - if these people were selling anything worth buying,
they wouldn't be draping it in shiny, shiny gauze and otherwise acting
like every other shyster at the dubious end of the "anti-aging"
marketplace. Your choice is of course your choice, but why make life
easier for the people who make it harder for legitimate longevity
research to obtain support and funding?
This is no scam. Geron staff consists of arguably the best telomere
experts in the world. Yes, the TA Science site appears inexplicably
amaturish and scamish, but the molecule is the result of years of work
by some of the world's leading scientists. A report on the clinical
trial is due to surface on April 30. The protocol offered is clearly
designed by and for medical professionals. I'll have more info when
they return my call or email, and will report further if warranted.
Astragalus supplementation is indicated by a fairly extensive prior
literature independent of the Geron study. I post below some of the
more important papers.
DEF: astragalus 2007/03/15:2100[edat] AND astragalus AND clinical
A Chinese herb with antioxidative, immunological, cardiac, and anti-
aging effects, among others. Run the search string astragalus AND
altern med rev for three monographs.
Phytother Res. 2006 Aug;20(8):687-95. Related Articles, Links
The effect of Echinacea purpurea, Astragalus membranaceus and
Glycyrrhiza glabra on CD69 expression and immune cell activation in
Brush J, Mendenhall E, Guggenheim A, Chan T, Connelly E, Soumyanath A,
Buresh R, Barrett R, Zwickey H.
Helfgott Research Institute, National College of Naturopathic
Medicine, Portland, OR, USA.
The increasing use of medicinal herbs among the general
public has piqued the need for scientific-based research to determine
the mechanism of action of herbs administered orally in human
subjects. The ability of three herbs, Echinacea purpurea, Astragalus
membranaceus and Glycyrrhiza glabra, to activate immune cells in human
subjects was assessed in this pilot study. The effect of these herbs
when ingested for 7 days was measured both when administered singly,
and in combination, using flow cytometry. The primary cell activation
marker measured was CD69. The results demonstrate that Echinacea,
Astragalus and Glycyrrhiza herbal tinctures stimulated immune cells as
quantified by CD69 expression on CD4 and CD8 T cells. This activation
took place within 24 h of ingestion, and continued for at least 7
days. In addition, these three herbs had an additive effect on CD69
expression when used in combination.
PMID: 16807880 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
2: Chin J Integr Med. 2006 Mar;12(1):29-31. Related Articles, Links
Effect of astragalus injection on serious abdominal traumatic
patients' cellular immunity.
Wu J, Wang YX, Su WL, Zhu WX, Lu JW, Li ZK.
Intensive Care Unit, Putuo Hospital Affiliated to Shanghai University
of TCM, Shanghai 200062.
OBJECTIVE: To explore the change of serious abdominal
traumatic patients' cellular immunity and the effect of Astragalus
Injection (AI) on it. METHODS: Sixty-three serious abdominal traumatic
patients were randomly assigned into two groups, the conventional
group and the treated group, patients in the conventional group were
given conventional treatment, while others in the treated group were
given conventional treatment as the basis, with AI 20 ml was added
into 250 ml of 5% glucose solution given through intravenous dripping,
and then on the first day and 14th day, their T cell activated
antigens as well as that of 10 healthy subjects were monitored.
RESULTS: On the first day, in the conventional group and treated
group, the levels of CD(3)(+), CD(4)(+), CD(4)(+)/CD(8)(+), CD(16)(+),
CD(69)(+) and CD(3)(+)/homologous leucocytic antigen-DR (HLA-DR(+))
were apparently lower than those in the healthy group (P < 0.05),
while the CD(8)(+) was significantly higher than that in the healthy
group (P < 0.05), and there was no significant difference between the
conventional group and the treated group (P > 0.05); on the 14th days,
the levels of CD(3)(+), CD(4)(+), CD(4)(+)/CD(8)(+), CD(16)(+), CD(69)
(+) and CD(3)(+)/HLA-DR(+) of the treated group got closed to healthy
subject value, and got even higher than those of conventional group (P
< 0.05); CD(8)(+) got close to that of healthy subjects, while
obviously lower than that of conventional group (P < 0.05).
CONCLUSION: After serious abdominal trauma, cellular immunity lowered,
auxiliary use of AI was beneficial to the restoration of cellular
Zhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi. 2004 Mar;29(3):264-6. Related Articles,
[Effects of Astragalus and saponins of Panax notoginseng on MMP-9 in
patients with type 2 diabetic macroangiopathy]
[Article in Chinese]
Liu KZ, Li JB, Lu HL, Wen JK, Han M.
Department of Endocrinology, The Third Hospital of Hebei Medical
University, Shijiazhuang 050051, China.
OBJECTIVE: To investigate the role and mechanism of
Astragalus (AS) and saponins of Panax notoginseng (PNS) in treating
type 2 diabetic macroangiopathy. METHOD: 94 patients with type 2
diabetic macroangiopathy were divided into two groups randomly: group
treated with Simvastatin and group treated with AS and PNS, compared
with 40 healthy control subjects. Serum level of MMP-9 and lipid in
patients and healthy subjects were measured before and after
treatment. RESULT: The serum levels of MMP-9, TG, TC, LDL-C, VLDL-C in
patients with type 2 diabetic macroangiopathy were improved, while the
levels of HDL-C were decreased. Like Simvastatin AS and PNS had the
function of reducing MMP-9 and accommodating lipid metabolism.
CONCLUSION: Besides accommodating lipid metabolism, AS and PNS can
also reduce the level of serum MMP-9 soas to treat type 2 diabetic
macroangiopathy. PMID: 15706857
Zhongguo Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Za Zhi. 1995 Mar;15(3):141-3. Links
[Effects of Astragalus membranaceus on left ventricular function and
oxygen free radical in acute myocardial infarction patients and
mechanism of its cardiotonic action][Article in Chinese]
Chen LX, Liao JZ, Guo WQ.
Dongzhimen Hospital, Beijing University of TCM.
Dynamic observations for 4 weeks were made on left
ventricular function and oxygen free radical (OFR) in 43 patients
first suffering from acute myocardial infarction and hospitalized in
Coronary Care Unit with an attack less than 36 hours. The results
showed that the Astragalus membranaceus (AM) could strengthen the left
ventricular function and had an effect of anti-OFR. After
administration of AM, the ratio of pre-ejection period/left
ventricular ejection time (PEP/LVET) was decreased, the superoxide
dismutase (SOD) activity of red blood cell was increased, and the
lipid peroxidation (LPO) content of plasma was reduced. There was a
significant difference between the AM group and the control group in
the parameters above-mentioned. The study demonstrated that the PEP/
LVET ratio was closely correlated with the SOD and LPO. It suggested
that the anti-OFR effect of AM was one of the mechanisms of its
Acta Pharmacol Sin. 2003 Mar;24(3):230-4.
Anti-aging effect of astragalosides and its mechanism of action.
Lei H, Wang B, Li WP, Yang Y, Zhou AW, Chen MZ.
Institute of Clinical Pharmacology, Anhui Medical University, Hefei
AIM: To study the anti-aging effect of astragalosides (AST) and
its mechanism of
action. METHODS: Rotating rod test and step-down type passive
were performed to determine the effects of AST on motor and memory of
D-galactose (D-gal)-induced senescent mice and the middle-aged mice.
proliferative response of splenocytes induced by Con A or LPS, IL-2
of splenocytes induced by ConA of D-gal-treated mice and the middle-
were also measured. RESULTS: AST (40 mg/kg/d, ig, for 10 weeks) was
ameliorate age-related alternations in both motor response and memory,
the deteriorated cellular immunity in D-gal-treated mice and the pre-
(17-month-old) mice. CONCLUSION: AST has an anti-aging effect on D-gal-
senescent mice and has the effect of delaying senility of the middle-
which was related to its improvement of brain function and
effects. PMID: 12617771 full text available Here is a quote
Astragalus is a kind of Chinese tonic herbs. Its
active part is astragalosides (AST) and polysaccharides
which are extracted from the root of Astragalus
membranceus (Fisch) Bge[1, 2]. Previous studies from
our laboratory showed that AST possessed an anti-aging
effect, probably being related to its anti-oxidative
properties. A pilot study from our laboratory demonstrated
that AST had an immunomodulatory effect.
1: Am J Chin Med. 2004;32(5):669-80. Related Articles, Links
Astragalus mongholicus and Polygonum multiflorum's protective function
against cyclophosphamide inhibitory effect on thymus.
Wei X, Zhang J, Li J, Chen S.
Department of Anatomy, Shantou University Medical College, Shantou,
The protective effects of two Chinese herbs, astragalus
mongholicus, polygonum multiflorum and astragalus mongholicus-
polygonum multiflorum in combination against thymus injury induced by
cyclophosphamide were evaluated by transmission electron microscopy,
image analysis, DNA gel electrophoresis as well as flow cytometry.
Results showed that mice pretreated with cyclophosphamide had
degenerated thymus with less normal thymocytes; when those mice were
treated with the herbs, thymus morphology improved. The apoptosis
analysis showed the thymus treated with the herbs had fewer apoptotic
thymocytes than the thymus pretreated with cyclophosphamide only. In
conclusion, astragalus mongholicus and polygonum multiflorum have
protective effects on the thymus against cyclophosphamide-induced
injury. Their protective effects partly attribute to reduced
apoptosis. Astragalus mongholicus-polygonum multiflorum in combination
has better effects than either of the two herbs.
PMID: 15633803 [PubMed - in process]
CONCLUSION: AST has an antinociceptive effect on formalin test in mice
that is not mediated by the endogenous opioid system but related to
its inhibitory effect on the production of NO. PMID: 11749861
(Nociceptors are peripheral pain receptors)(The full text says they
also have anti-inflammatory effects)
Herbal extract prevents bone loss in ovariectomized rats.
Arch Pharm Res. 2003 Nov;26(11):917-24.
Zhongguo Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Za Zhi. 2003 May;23(5):351-3. Related
[Effect of astragalus injection on immune function in patients with
congestive heart failure]
Liu ZG, Xiong ZM, Yu XY.
Affiliated Liyuan Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong
University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430077.
OBJECTIVE: To study the effect of Astragalus Injection
(AI) on the humoral immunity (IgG, IgA and IgM), cellular immunity (T-
lymphocyte subsets) and soluble interleukin-2 receptor (sIL-2R) in
patients with congestive heart failure (CHF). METHODS: Sixty-two in-
patients with CHF, whose heart function belonged to NYHA grade II-IV,
were randomly divided into two groups. The treated group was treated
with AI 30 ml (equivalent to 60 g crude drug), and the control group
was treated by nitroglycerine injection 10 mg, the drugs were
administered respectively by adding in 5% glucose solution 500 ml for
intravenous dripping, once a day, 20 days as one therapeutic course.
Venous blood from cubital vein was collected before and after
treatment to detect the IgG, IgA, IgM, T-lymphocyte subsets and
sIL-2R, and the clinical effect of treatment was evaluated. RESULTS:
The clinical heart function markedly improved rate and total effective
rate in the treated group was 25.8% and 74.2% respectively,
significantly better than those in the control group respectively (P <
0.05 or P < 0.01), the left ventricular ejecting fraction (LVEF) and
end syctolic volume (ESV) were improved in both groups (P < 0.05, P <
0.01), and the improvement in the treated group was superior to that
in the control group (P < 0.05). In the treated group after treatment,
the CD4 level and CD4/CD8 ratio increased (P < 0.05), levels of
sIL-2R, IgG and IgA lowered (P < 0.05) significantly, while those in
the control group were not changed significantly (P > 0.05).
CONCLUSION: AI could improve the immune function of CHF patients, and
can be taken as an important auxiliary treatment for CHF. PMID:
> I'll have more info when
> they return my call or email, and will report further if warranted.
I for one am looking forward to whatever insights you might gather.
Those are some interesting studies, but the most I can glean from them
is that astragalus appears to have some antioxidant and
immunomodulatory effects in vitro and possibly in vivo, according to a
few articles published in
some obscure Chinese med journals.
This of course is a far cry from being a "telomerase-inhibiting anti-
aging supplement that improves skin quality and enhances male sexual
function". Whatever study they are doing and releasing at the end of
the month, I hope they are seriously planning to publish it in a
reputable journal............otherwise it's just non-peer-reviewed,
manufacturer-conducted and basically completely untrustworthy, at
least in my opinion.
I too have discounted the Chinese studies, and astragalus is only in
my archive, not my medicine chest. I do however have in in a search
string that I run periodically to keep updated.
At this point I'm only predicting that this will turn out to be
scientifically justified. I don't plan to take it until I see some
peer reviewed evidence. I do, however, have a lot of confidence in the
staff at Geron. Other than Shay and Wright at the U of Texas, I would
guess they know more about telomerase than anyone else. They were
founded about ten years ago by Michael West and capatilized at tens of
millions of $. A couple of years ago they bought the company that
cloned Dolly the sheep. They don't publish much, but they are not the
type that would launce a product which will only be another Chinese
At this point we have an issue to follow, not swollow.
Telomerase induction tested originally using a 10:1 95% ethanolic
extract of Astralagus root (this extract was called GRN925)
The most potent compound in the extract seems to be astragaloside IV
or cycloastragenol, one of which which may be the GRN-665 (TA-65)
Glad to read of this property of Astragalus root, especially since it
is so inexpensive, extracts are available up to 5% astragalosides.
Given the patents' proof testing of the rough extract, I see no point
in further extraction of the most active molecule - similar situation
to using a 50% resveratrol from a knotweed extract rather than trying
to purify or synthesize the active resveratrol molecule, saves a lot
of effort and cash.
I'm still curious about the Patton program:
Do they do a thorough screening for cancer before starting?
Would exogenous telomerase even matter to pre-existing cancer?
I gather that it can prevent some genetic degradations leading to
Did you see those p-values?? Almost *none* of them is statistically
significant (i.e. p is less than or equal to 0.05)
There are some interesting trends, but this certainly doesn't cut it
as far as scientific evidence.
That plus what exactly was measured is not exactly well specified. There
is a slightly more detailed version linked at the bottom but still...
> There are some interesting trends, but this certainly doesn't cut it
> as far as scientific evidence.
True. We will see... I for one am quite interested in more information
but so far there really isn't much :-(. It would be helpful if someone
came up with more insights i.e. contributing.
Thank you for your recent inquiry and your interest in TA Sciences. The 12
month PATTON PROTOCOL TM is the first and only program in the exciting
field of Telomere Biology designed to help optimize our individual health
as we age, and to help prolong our "Healthspan". Here is how it works:
Clients need to visit the TA Center in New York and have extensive blood
work and other biomarkers of aging done prior to starting the PATTON
PROTOCOL. This will establish your baseline condition. About two weeks
later, when the test results are in, you will have an in-depth
consultation with our associated Anti-Aging physician to discuss your
results and assess your individual health situation. If you live outside
of the New York area, it is possible to have your consultation over the
The price for this baseline program, which would normally cost close to
$5000.00, is $2430 (our actual third party, discounted out-of-pocket
costs). This baseline evaluation is very valuable on its own as a health
and aging tool. After your initial biomarkers and consultation, you then
decide if you actually want to start the 12 month PATTON PROTOCOL.
The PATTON PROTOCOL consists of:
- A year's supply of Telomerase Activator TA-65 TM (Patents Pending). This
is a pulsed program taken daily for 3 months, then off for 3 months, and
then taken again for the next 3 months, then off again for the final 3
- A repeat of the baseline blood work and biomarkers of aging at 3 months,
6 months, 9 months and 12 months, and follow-up consultations with the
Anti-Aging physician at each of those time points to track your personal
-A year's supply of our proprietary packets of other nutritional
supplements, vitamins, minerals, and herbs specially formulated for TA
Sciences. These packets, taken 2 times a day, offer a comprehensive
assortment of the most effective vitamins, minerals and herbs, available
- A series of monthly consultations with TA Sciences' expert Lifestyle
Counselor is also available and included, to help you optimize your
personal health and aging goals.
The price for the 12 month Protocol is $22,570.00, payable in two 6 month
installments of $11,285.00 each. We expect the benefits of Telomerase
Activation to last well beyond the initial 12 month period, but this is
leading edge technology and individual results will vary. We suggest that
clients come back one year after finishing the Protocol to have their
biomarkers re-tested and evaluated, and to discuss whether a TA
Maintenance Program at a significantly lower cost would be beneficial.
Please call me if you have any questions or would like to schedule your
With Best Regards,
I just got off the phone with TA Science. Their Greta Blackburn claims
TA-65 definitely extends telomere length, not just slowing the rate of
shortening. The protocol will include three measurements of telomere
length. But she claims they were not able to measure telomere length
in their study. An obvious lie, when I asked about this discrepancy
she "didn't know". She also claims the study was double blinded, but
a reduction in placebo group measurements always indicates to me that
the measurements were taken by unblinded techs. She has no knowledge
of when or where the study will be published. And has no in vivo
evidence for telomere extension. Once again I've been gullible.
Luckily my Bible says "thou shalt always require peer reviewed,
Thomas (very disappinted in his "world class scientists")
OK,...so she's a little weak in the details....BUT she IS a former
actress AND an all-around hottie! ;-0
(I mean they wouldn't pick a spokewoman just on her preferable
phenotype, would they????)
She's fast too. She sent me this within about 30 min.
Subj: from Greta B
Date: 4/20/2007 12:26:59 PM Eastern Daylight Time
Wow. You're making me delve deeply into my grey matter with your great
I put out a few calls and emails and got some info for you.
OK, here we go:
Regarding your "disappointment" that we did not measure telomeres in
the Pivotal 2005 Anti-Aging Study: There was no accurate commercial
way to measure telomeres in 2005. It is not available to the public
even today, other than thru us.
You wanted to be sure ours was a double blind study. It was. We do
not know "why?" the placebo group drop off in vision improvement. We
simply don't know.
Per your question about "where" the study will be published. First of
all, it is not finished. It will be very soon, however. It then has to
be submitted for approval to different journals and they may or may
not choose to publish. We anticipat that Dr. Harley will be one of the
authors of any journal publication.
Regarding telomere lengthening vs. cessation of degradation: one of
Geron's collaborators, Rita Effros at UCLA, tested an equivalent
compound to TA- 65 and found that telomere loss was either stopped or
diminished. We believe Geron has other non-public studies that show
telomere lengthening. Because they are non-public, we don't have
formal access to those studies.
Whether your telomeres grow back very long or not you will know, via
our biomarkers, how your vision, immune function, male sexual
function, etc. have improved. ANd yes, you will see your telomere
length before and after the Protocol.
An important point to note, however, is that we absolutely guarantee
that we activate telomerase--and that is not insignificant, in light
of emerging studies on the benefits of telomerase itself. Yes,
telomerase increases or slows down diminshment of length. It does
OTHER things, however, that are important. I have emailed a colleague
to send me the names of some of the recent studies that might be of
interest to you and will forward them as soon as I receive them.
I will also email you our complete supplement ingredient list. I am
waiting for a final version, since we have recently added some
important nutrients to what was already a complete anti-aging regimen.
Please email me or call me with any more questions!
I'd love to schedule you in for your initial bloodwork and biomarkers.
cell 818 634 5941
So, apart from her continued salesmanship, this reply would seem to
restore to her a little temporary slack, I assume...
Yes great salesmanship. You tend to see that when you're considering
to put out $25,000 for a product with very low in house cost. But the
message I took home was that their protocol did not lengthen or even
stop telomere erosion in their trial. I don't believe for a minute
that they didn't take the measurements in several tissues. There are
two measurements that could have been reported. One is average
telomere length, and the other which seems to be more important is the
length of the shortest telomere on a given chromosome. This one may
not have been taken, but I would guess that didn't fail to because of
Unfortunately, I'm barely familiar with even the vocabulary of the
discussion. But I am interested (as anyone should be) in the
phenomena it addresses, i.e., not only prolonged lifespan, but also
the marketing thereof. One surprise I did get from her reply was her
apparent backoff on the tightness of Geron's affiliation with her
effort. (Paraphrasing: "We *believe* Geron's demonstrated telomere-
lengthening, but they won't tell us.") Still, I've wondered how great
her long-term profit prospects could be if the imminent light of day
will wither her claims. But I suppose that, at $22k a pop, signing up
a few hundred clients before daybreak could present a motive-sized
nest egg. I'll stay tuned...
It was about how the telomeres (from a mature cat?) were lenghtened
before cloning. This resulted in cloned newborns with longer than
normal telomeres - thereby being "younger" than the parent animal and
presumed to have a healthier and longer life than in the case of
I'm sure some of you can fill in my memory blanks about the above. I
don't know if the details of the story were speculation, PR, or
established fact (nor do I know the fate of the kitty clones).
I don't know anything about lengthening, but telomere length measuring
is not uncommon in molecular biology. There is a technique that allows
to measure the length of a single telomere. I worked on a statistical
method for a friend who is studying an entire distribution of telomere
lengths within human individuals. He is measuring and distinguishing
the lengths both in the sperm (where the length is mantained but still
unequal between cells) and in somatic cells, where there is variation
in the degree of shortening. This variation is both stochastic and
genetic, and there is a great deal of that within every individual.
Again, I don't know if lengthening is feasible, but ideally, the
entire distribution of lengths should be examined, and perhaps
reported in a form of a histogram, so one could see what is a mean
shift and what happens to the spread of that distribution over time.