I explain a new paradigm for cancer in which it is not rare, hereditary, nor incurable. Cancer is explained in terms of inevitable genetic mutation that is a normal feature of living but that is constantly being prevented and cured throughout our lives.
If we assume 3 billion base pairs, 1/100,000 transcription errors, but a high rate of intra-transcriptional proofreading, we get that figure down to about 0.3 mutations (wrong letter substitution) per cell division.
In this first segment, Dr. Chang explains that we really don’t know what the normal human birth endowment of telomere length is and we then discuss why lab mice have abnormally long telomeres and are therefore not a good model to study our aging.
Just a brief note for #ScienceSunday. Reading my blogs, you might thing the anecdotes are just for me, my patients, people or mammals…but telomere erosion is accelerated in any creature undergoing stress. Check out this study revealing that birds have the same issues that we do, from inception to grave: http://www.theguardian.com/science/grrlscientist/2014/apr/09/telomere-stress-parrot-wildlife
Janet Rowley, MD, was known for proposing that cancers are caused by a genetic malfunction, more specifically by translocation of DNA from the ends of one chromosome to another. What is the process that allows this to occur? It is telomere erosion. This is the basis of my unified theory of aging and disease illustrated by this diagram from my book, “Telomere Timebombs: Defusing the Terror of Aging”
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