Channel 7’s Dr Andrew Rochford interviews ‘Dr Telomere’ Bill Andrews

Dr. Andrew Rochford from Channel 7 interviews Dr. Bill Andrews on telomeres and finding the cure for aging.

I think people in their 60s right now they really do everything they can to extend their lifespan and healthspan are going to find out that they can live to be a hundred fifty.


We’re so close and it’s not just me but other scientists too. There’s a lot of things that cause aging, I’m working on one of them which I think is the most significant, I think. I’m working on the thing that has to be done otherwise none of us, none of the other things will work. But still when I succeed at what I’m doing other things are going to have to be solved in terms of aging and I think we’re just going to living longer and longer. And I think 60 year olds, seventy year olds right now are going to be able to be 150.

What is it that you’re working on?

I’m working on a clock that actually has been discovered, people that discovered it won the nobel prize in medicine in 2009. It’s a clock that actually ticks inside of humans. It also ticks inside of dogs, cats, horses, pigs, deer and sheep. But most of them doesn’t tick in a lot of other animals like mice, it doesn’t tick in mice but it does tick in us and it controls our aging process.

When you count the number of ticks on that clock we are limited to a maximum theoretical lifespan of 125 years. Now that clock is found at the very tips of our chromosomes. If you think of a chromosome like a shoelace the caps on your shoelaces are equivalent to the telomeres on your chromosomes and the telomeres over the clock is it’s been known for, since the 1970s that the tips of your chromosomes the telomeres actually get shorter as you age.

But you know, everybody believed that this was a result of aging not the cause of aging. It was after we discovered that telomeres don’t shorten in our reproductive cells like the cells that passed on from generation to generation they just never get shorter, that we started looking why don’t they get shorter, we discovered this enzyme called telomerase that keeps them from shortening. And when we put that into human skin cells for instance, we found that those cells stopped aging and now we’ve actually been able to do that. We’ve got this colleague of ours at Harvard, Dr. Ron De Pinho specifically has been able to do that.

About The Author

Katherine Baltazar

I am a media reporter writing for the Hair, Beauty and Spa Industry. I've been writing and covering salons, beauty products and hair treatments for the pace 5 years.