I appreciate your reply. As I look further around up and down the different threads I see I was mistaken in not looking deeper into this site when I initally discovered it.
I think a re-visit to Gerons site is worth the time. They have their hands on some interesting telomerase based technologies as well as a nice stem cell research program. Here are the highlights though, as this may save you a little time.
We have designed and synthesized a special class of short-chain nucleic acid molecules, known as oligonucleotides, that target the template region, or active site, of telomerase. These oligonucleotides, called GRN163 and GRN163L, have demonstrated highly potent telomerase inhibitory activity at very low concentrations in biochemical assays, various cellular systems, and animal studies.
Comment: These drugs could be potent anti-cancer drugs that specificaly target cancer cells(as well as stem cells albeit). The preclinical data is considered quite strong and extremely efficacious. Human trials will begin shortly
I was going to attempt to summarize their stem cell research but really it requires a detailed reading. They are doing some cool stuff. Check out the link.
I have been in touch with Aubrey a few times over the past couple of years. I find his work very interesting and I am actually looking to expand on it and help formulate the broad ideas into a more concrete plan. I believe that by coming to a solid understanding of the current approaches/technologies and following recent developments in important fields such as stem cell therapy, gene therapy, cancer, basic research into the aging process itself etc. etc. we will be able to formulate an evermore realistic concrete research agenda. I actually like to think of it as a battle plan. First thing you do in a battle is gather as much information as you can about the enemy(in this case aging) and only then can you begin to formulate the best battle plan that has the best odds of defeating your enemy. I know it's a strange way of looking at things, but systems analysis can apply just about anywhere.
I'm still in the fun learning process, though, and I still have much to learn as there are dozens of companies and labs that are working on one aspect or another that could potentially apply to the development of a real cure for aging. But everyday I try and learn something to help paint a clearer picture of what the techology will look like that finally thwarts aging. I really feel pretty strongly that right now the end vision of using stem cells to re-seed various tissues on a mass scale in a directed manner holds a lot of promise toward being able to regenerate tissues that are on a cellular level phenotypically younger, on a tissue level phenotypically younger, on the organ level theyare phenotyically younger, and so on up to the level of the organism being phenotypically younger. These cells could be manipulated ex-vivo and primed for optimal health. Early work on stem cells holds great promise with their ability to integrate with existing tissue. Multipy this effect in a controlled way on a large scale and you may have solved aging on a cellular level.
There would still be the problem of cleaning up the junk/aggregates, and further downstream problems that would surely develop, but having young cells would be a huge step toward having young tissues. Alteon has a drug in development that could begin to address the problem of 1 class of cellular aggreagates. I think this field in general is one of the more underfunded, overlooked aspects towards developing solid aging therapies. Cleaning up some of the mess whether through genetic modulation allowing for production of new enzymes or drugs which facillitate the breakdown of currently undegradeable aggregates needs WAY more attention in my opinion. I think this aspect is especially overlooked when you look at it from a commercial development standpoint. Research in this field could not only help one day lead to reversing aging, but along the way attacking the molecular basis of these aggregates which are linked in everything from heart disease to arthereosclerosis to wrinkles would likely have huge commercial benefit.
Thank you for the welcome. I will post a message on the intro. forum and look forward to spending a lot more time on these threads. I would love the opportunity to go to the SENS conference. Howeverm I probably will be unable to attend. With a little work this thread could help to communicate what some of the big thinkers in the field are saying and working on. I firmly believe that sites like this could help in the all important dissemination of relevant information that can only help spur progress in the field. The more we all learn the closer we get to a cure. I also welcome all debate and challenges to anything I post and would look forward to anyone correcting anything I may have mis-statesd as it will only help spur discussion that can help us all.
Edited by marcus, 02 January 2005 - 06:40 AM.