Hi,
I am interested in the idea of immortality and life extension, and I have read a discussion in this website (Here is the link: http://www.askabiologist.org.uk/answers … id=12602). Still, I have some questions about the telomere. From Mr. Wynick's answer, it seems that random DNA mutation makes it unlikely to achieve immortality. However, from my understanding, mutation occurs in a cells, not on a whole body. Mutation shouldn't be a problem since cells with undesirable traits will die away, leaving normal cells intact. Am I understanding correctly? In addition, can we use telomerase to extend telomere and potentially increase lifespan in vivo? Will it interfere with cancer treatment?(I've heard that some drugs have telomerase inhibitor) If it's not possible, can we extend the telomere of embryo at zygotic stage? I'm thinking that if we can't extend telomere in vivo, we do it in vitro instead by extending the telomere of sperm cell and egg cell. (or perhaps increasing telomerase activity of single cell embryo)

Thank you,
Supavit

>However, from my understanding, mutation occurs in a cells, not on a whole body. Mutation shouldn't be a problem since cells with undesirable traits will die away, leaving normal cells intact.

Sadly not. Mutated cells sometimes proliferate in an out of control way (cancer) which can be disrupt organismal function to the point of death.

agreed - my previous answer above still summarises current thinking. that said who knows what scientific discovery is just round the corner! for sure it is a hot topic and very many scientists and biotech companies are working on this area.

the other obvious point is its not just length of life but quality!