Nobel Prize Aging Process Discovery.The Nobel prize for medicine was awarded to three American scientists for their discovery of how chromosomes are protected by telomeres and the enzyme telomerase, that play a key role in the aging process as well as cancer, in people and pets. The three American Laureates were awarded the Nobel Prize of $1.42 million dollars. These discoveries will further the understanding of the aging process, shed light on disease mechanisms, and in time help to stimulate the development of potential new human and pet therapies. Elizabeth Blackburn from the University of California at San Francisco was one member of the Nobel Laureate team.
The telomerase enzyme also plays a key role in allowing tumor cells to multiply uncontrolled and develop into cancer. As such this represents a major new area of focus for new drug research. For example, vaccines that target telomerase are currently in clinical trials for the treatment of lung and prostate cancer. This discovery is of major significance and will become the new foundation for future research on cancer, stem cells and the aging process itself. This research is as applicable to pets as it is for people. Jack Szostak of the Harvard Medical School in Massachusetts was the second recipient.
Medicine is traditionally the first of the Nobel Prizes awarded each year. The prizes for achievement in science, literature and peace were initially awarded in 1901 accordance with the will of dynamite inventor and businessman, Alfred Nobel. The final recipient, Carol Greider (left) is with John Hopkins University, School of Medicine, in Baltimore, Maryland.
Telomerase is the enzyme that keeps our telemeres long and healthy, which is usually only typical in very young, active or specialized cells. As we age, its levels decline and in time, they become virtually undetectable. Cells left without telomerase will then divide a certain, fixed number of times and then die or enter a stage of inactivity which is referred to as cell senescence. Cell senescence is similar to a “near death” state and is a significant factor in the development of age related degenerative disorders in people and pets, including cancer, arthritis and dementia as well as liver, kidney and heart disease.
Research shows that inserting telomerase into senescent cells lengthens their telomeres back to those typical of young cells. These revitalized cells then display characteristics of and function like young, healthy cells, including an absence of cancer. This suggests that telomeres are not only the bodies biological clock for aging, but also shows that our biological clocks can be reset back to a youthful status. In this case, the lifespan of such cells, including their reproductive capabilities, can theoretically go on forever. Not content to wait for the ability to deliver telomerase to each cell, scientists theorized that there must be some other substance in the body that can prompt the telomerase gene to once again release the life lengthening telomerase enzyme. In the scientific search for such a substance, the first most natural, logical choice for investigation were…hormones. Hormones were not only the first substance they researched, but they are also the only ones that can regulate the enzyme telomerase. We know that hormones can naturally prompt telomerase genes to once again release the life lengthening telomerase enzyme. The fact that Human Growth Hormone (HGH) impacts most hormones has been validated. The correlation, although not scientifically proven to be conclusive yet, seems obvious.
So, pet owners may be wondering… what’s the point and how does all this pertain to dogs and cats?
With bio-identical or natural hormone replacement therapy and telomerase, the implications for lengthening the healthy lifespans of our cherished 4-legged companions is ultimately infinite. Currently clinical trials for pets on PAAWS are entering their 15th year. Preliminary results indicate that just by proper natural vitamin supplementation alone, in this case with Paaws vitamins, we have effectively lengthened healthy years in dogs and cats by up to 30% which translates into 3-4 extra healthy years. In the 15th year of our Paaws Clinical Trials, we have small breed dogs, under 35 pounds, enjoying life at age 24 and large breed dogs, over 80 pounds, still going strong at age 18!