Stem Cells, Telomeres and Telomerase, and DNA repair

On the surface it appears that the 14th theory of aging in my Anti-Aging Firewalls treatise Decline in Adult Stem Cell Differentiation is very different than the  12th theory Telomere Shortening. And these two theories seem to be different than the 2nd  theory Cell DNA Mutation.  However, a number of recent studies show a growing web of relationships among these theories.  For example,  telomeric dysfunction may be at the heart of the decreasing capability of stem and progenitor cells to replicate and renew tissues with increasing age (ref,ref,ref,ref).  These and similar studies have looked at telomere shortening in hematopoietic stem cells (HSC), mesenchymal progenitor cells, osteoblasts and neural progenitor cells.   One study suggests that proteins secreted from telomere-dysfunctional bone-marrow cells may provide accurate biomarkers of aging. As usual when it comes to aging, there are wheels within wheels.  Among the many cellular proteins that influence telomere structure, function and enlongation are the telomerase binding factors TRF1 and TRF2 and less-directly shelterin-complex, PinX, Apollo and tankyrase(ref).  TRF2seems to play a key role in the differentiation of neural stem cells(ref) as well as in cancer proliferation.  In a closely related front, telomerase expression and TRF2 seem to play key roles in maintenance of DNA repair mechanisms in neural cells and stem cells(ref).  While we are not there yet we are getting closer to a unified theory of aging.  Also it is already clear how an anti-aging firewall intervention intended to address aging according to one theory, taking astragaloside IV as a supplement to activate telomerase expression, addresses aging according to several other of the theories as well.

About Vince Giuliano

Being a follower, connoisseur, and interpreter of longevity research is my latest career, since 2007. I believe I am unique among the researchers and writers in the aging sciences community in one critical respect. That is, I personally practice the anti-aging interventions that I preach and that has kept me healthy, young, active and highly involved at my age, now approaching 91. I am as productive as I was at age 45. I don’t know of anybody else active in that community in my age bracket. In particular, I have focused on the importance of controlling chronic inflammation for healthy aging, and have written a number of articles on that subject in this blog. In 2014, I created a dietary supplement to further this objective. In 2019, two family colleagues and I started up Synergy Bilherbals a dietary supplement company that is now selling this product. In earlier reincarnations of my career. I was founding dean of a graduate school and a university professor at the State University of New York, a senior consultant working in a variety of fields at Arthur D. Little, Inc., Chief Scientist and C00 of Mirror Systems, a software company, and an international Internet consultant. I got off the ground with one of the earliest PhD's from Harvard in a field later to become known as computer science. Because there was no academic field of computer science at the time, to get through I had to qualify myself in hard sciences, so my studies focused heavily on quantum physics. In various ways I contributed to the Computer Revolution starting in the 1950s and the Internet Revolution starting in the late 1980s. I am now engaged in doing the same for The Longevity Revolution. I have published something like 200 books and papers as well as over 430 substantive.entries in this blog, and have enjoyed various periods of notoriety. If you do a Google search on Vincent E. Giuliano, most if not all of the entries on the first few pages that come up will be ones relating to me. I have a general writings site at and an extensive site of my art at Please note that I have recently changed my mailbox to
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