WTF is a telomerase? Telomerase a reverse transcriptase that involved with extending telomeres. Telomere is a special structure at the end of the chromosome in the cell, which protects the end of the chromosome from deterioration.
In human cells, chromosome DNA as two ropes twine, rope at each end of a knot to maintain their stability -- the knot is the telomere, which consists of 6 nucleotide repeats (TTAGGG) and binding proteins.
Unfortunately, every time a cell divides, its telomeres get shorter. When the telomeres can't shorten, the cell cannot continue to divide, which means the aging coming. Human cell probably has only 50 times divisions, and then cell’s life will be terminated. Death is a gradual process can be expected.
So can we find a way to extend telomeres?
In 1990 Calvin Harley found, there is an enzyme which called telomrase has the function of supporting telomeres. The length of telomere is determined by telomerase. But the activity of telomerase is declined as age. When we young, telomerase has high activity, so it’s easy to extend telomeres. And this is why young people look full of vitality.
Scientists have taken an experiment to inject foreskin cells with an telomerase activator—cycloastragenol, what is a magical substance extracted from Astragalus. Generally, foreskin cells will divide about 60 times before their death. But in this experiment, cells have divided 300 times without the sign of stop.
"Cells look like whos injected with stimulant," Shea said, "they just endlessly divide and reproduce."
At the same time, the researchers used human retinal cells to do the same test. As results, these cells seem to have become ever-young.
The telomerase activator is so amazing that we seem to see dawn of ever-young.