Anti-aging Gene Therapy: Has The Time Arrived For True Anti-aging Medicine?

Now in 2016 it is becoming increasingly clear that therapies are emerging which could seriously impact aspects of the human aging process.

One of the most cutting-edge therapies that are now being tested is the use of viral vectors to lengthen telomeres, the DNA caps at the end of our chromosomes. Elizabeth Parrish, CEO of the company Bioviva USA inc, is the first person to treat human aging with this technology, using herself as a test subject.

Contrary to much buzz within the anti-aging field, this is certainly a valid treatment for a part of the aging problem in organisms, by preventing DNA from shortening. Back in 2012 this experiment was first set up in mice by Maria Blasco et al, using adeno viruses to lengthen telomeres in mice. The treated mice lived longer on average with no increased cancer rates, showing proof of principle.

Avi Roy

- PhD student researching Aging, Mitochondria, and Regenerative Medicine - I currently write for The Conversation (http://bit.ly/13WVyUW) and I have written for The Guardian (http://bit.ly/13WVtRh) - Ringleader of the Oxford University Scientific Society - Co-conspirator at the Oxford Transhumanism and Emerging Technologies - Designing exciting events with the British Science Association Oxford - Advisory Board member at Lifeboat Foundation's Life Extension Board, and the Sustainability Board - Also, I am an Ultimate (frisbee) enthusiast - Yes, unfortunately that's me trying to catch the frisbee