“putting 2 and 2 together and getting ’22′” is in play when we talk about fears of telomerase causing cancer…
If together, ATM kinase and p53 decide that the DNA is beyond repair, the cell will undergo apoptosis as orchestrated by p53.
You had one ‘perfect’ copy of DNA in your chromosomes when you were a single cell fertilized ege. Since then, each copy has made successive generations progressively worse
This article from JAMA argues that the 4.8% cancer mortality rate for large and long-lived elephants compares favorably to our 25% rate because unlike our two copies of the p53 (watchman of the genome) gene, they have up to 40 copies.
“The time has come to seriously ask whether antioxidant use more likely causes than prevents cancer,” Dr. Watson said. Nutritional intervention trials have shown no obvious effectiveness in preventing cancer or in lengthening lifespan, and, “in fact, they seem to slightly shorten the lives of those who take them.”