Why We Age – The Search For Youth With Bill Andrews

Dr. Bill Andrews talks about the reason why we grow older and what he’s been doing to cure aging.

Knowing that curing aging is something that a lot of people think is impossible makes me want to do it all that much more. 2011 should go down in history as a very important year cause it’s the very first year that humans have ever been able to reverse aging in any type of animal on the planet. The research lab in Harvard has actually been able to reverse aging in mice and these mice actually became younger using telomere lengthening technology.

So what is a telomere? A human being is made up of a hundred trillion cells and then inside of each of these cells are found chromosomes. A chromosome is like a long shoelace. At the very tips of our shoelaces are found the caps. Those are the telomeres. When the caps of the shoelaces get worn away to nothing, the shoelace starts falling apart. Well same thing happens with the chromosomes.

Telomere shorten every time a cell divides. And so when a telomere gets shorter, it’s almost like a clock ticking. Cell divides, it ticks once, cell divides again, it ticks again, ticks again, it ticks again, it ticks again, and as a result human cells know how old they are. There’s two words: telomere and telomerase.

Telomerase is the enzyme that lengthens the telomere. When a telomere gets shorter the clock ticks once, telomerase pushes it back. It ticks again, telomerase pushes it back. Similar to what Harvard did with the mice, we’re trying to figure out a way to turn on telomerase in all of our cells. So we’ve been screening hundreds of thousands of synthetic chemicals looking for anything that would turn the telomerase gene on and the human cells would then become immortal.

Lots of people told us we’re completely wasting our time, but we found our very first hit on the 57,684th chemical we screened. 10 to 15 years in the future, it’ll be a prescription drug that doctors can prescribe to just about anybody. My main reason for doing this research is to extend my own lifespan, my friends and family’s life spans and we are so close.

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.