Hello again readers! My first semester at college is coming to a close, I’ve been studying for my finals, and you’ve been enjoying my blogposts. It’s in the midst of this unique time of endings that I’ve had something important on my mind: immortality. More specifically, how will I, Johnny Delgado, end up living forever? Will it be because of a strange otherworldly contract made with a faustian type character? Will I be downloaded into a computer to eternally spam my decedents with e mails and keep this blog up and running? Or will medical science find away to just nip this whole death thing in the bud? At the moment I don’t know which method I’ll end up using, but an article that I came across today might help along option three.
A company called Bioviva USA Inc. has recently developed a method for extending the length of the telomeres in our chromosomes. Now I know I may have just gotten super technical if you’re not a biology buff, but don’t worry. Just think of our DNA as a shoelace and telomeres are the little plastic bits on the end (which are called aglets). As DNA replicates parts wear down over time. Because telomeres exist almost as caps at the ends where replication occurs, they wear down instead of other parts of DNA. As a person ages their telomeres gradually get smaller. For a better explanation of the importance of telomeres, please watch this video.
Elizabeth Parrish, the CEO of Bioviva, has just undergone her company’s process of telomere lengthening and allegedly “reversed 20 years of normal telomere shortening” (another article). Now I say allegedly because this is one test on one individual (that owns the company) that has yet to be confirmed independently. Even if Bioviva is telling the truth, this one case study has no statistical significance. We’ll have to wait for government approval for clinical trials (because this treatment was preformed in Colombia for legal reasons), and then wait for the results of those trials before we can draw conclusions from this research. I’m not saying that nothing has happened, I just like to preach a healthy level of skepticism. This could either work exactly as Bioviva says, or this could be completely false. Most likely, the truth lies somewhere in the middle.
“But what does this mean for Johnny Delgado?” as I am sure you’re all asking. Well, even if this company has figured out telomere lengthening that doesn’t mean immortality. There are so many other causes for aging and death that we do and don’t know about, but seeing research like this makes me happy. Just knowing that there are companies working to solve problems like this is a comfort to the fear of (possibly not) inevitable mortality. So no, I haven’t achieved immortality yet. And no, Bioviva can’t provide me with that just yet. But it’s these small steps that are necessary for big changes in much more than just health.
Thank you for reading.
Sincerely, (the currently mortal) Johnny Delgado.