Thursday, April 11, 2024

Gene Therapy For Aging

 Every time a cell divides, some telomere repeats get cut off therefore shortening its lifespan. This in turn causes aging which researchers are constantly finding ways to expand one’s lifespan. One particular way this is being done is through gene therapy which essentially uses telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT). TERT activates telomerase, which is the known enzyme to lengthen the telomere DNA. Because telomerase supports cell growth and division by reducing the cutting of telomeres in mitotic cells this will slow down the aging process. This ongoing research has led companies to claim, for only a small price of 1 million dollars, that they will provide gene therapy to reduce aging. As mentioned in the MIT Technology review, “Libella Gene Therapeutics, based in Manhattan, Kansas, claims it is now offering a gene therapy to repair telomeres at a clinic in Colombia for $1 million a dose. The company announced on November 21 that it was recruiting patients into what it termed a “pay-to-play clinical trial.””. Currently new information on humans being the test subjects has not been revealed even though there are multiple companies offering this service but are not FDA approved. In a recent study on mice it was found that the mouse TERT or FST extended the mouse's lifespan by 41.4% and 32.5%. It was reported in the PNAS article that CMV (a potential vector candidate for gene transfer) is being used successfully as both an intranasal and injectable gene therapy system to extend longevity. The treatment significantly improved glucose tolerance, physical performance, as well as preventing body mass loss and alopecia. Testing on gene therapy is still being done and it is not 100% assured it will not cause harm to human health, so millionaires should proceed with caution.



  1. This research could be the beginning of something revolutionary! I know a lot of people on social media are worried about aging and how they look. Aging is something that is stigmatized, but I think this research can help break that. It's incredible to see how far gene therapy has come!

  2. While it sure is a hefty price, it will be very cool to see this sort of treatment increase the lifespans of our general population. Hopefully the treatment gets less expensive, so one day ourselves and our close relatives can live longer and feel better when we so choose.