Recent Research on the Telemorase Enzyme and the Concept of Immortality

  • Omar Alfi Alfi Stem Cell Research and Education Foundation
  • Mazin Elhadary Alfi Stem Cell Research and Education Foundation
Keywords: Telomere, Telomerase, Regenerative medicine, Cancer cell, Immortality, Islam, Antiaging

Abstract

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5915/40-1-5281

During DNA replication, telomeres at the tips of chromosomes maintain connections that allow orderly replication. With each division, the telomere shortens until it gradually reaches a critical length that prohibits the cell from further division, causing several diseases associated with senility. Telomerase is an enzyme found in germ cells and embryonic stem cells that helps replace the telomeres. Through processes that reactivate these telomerases, scientists hope to develop regenerative methods to significantly extend the human life span. The process of telomerase activation, on the other hand, may create cancer cells, and understanding telomerase inhibition could help in combating cancer. From an Islamic perspective, the life span of a human, which only God determines, should be spent promoting good for society and preventing what is bad. If antiaging measures help maintain the productivity of an individual, and if that individual’s productivity is good for society, then antiaging measures are good. Religious organizations and governments would need to promote social justice in balancing resources needed by younger and older generations.

Published
2008-02-01
Section
Original Articles