A Cancer Gene May Be More Friendly Than We Thought | SciShow News

A Cancer Gene May Be More Friendly Than We Thought | SciShow News


[Music] there’s an enzyme important to stem cells that also goes wrong in cancer but new research this week published in the journal PNAS has shown that this enzyme called telomerase has a role in healthy cell aging to our DNA is arranged into chromosomes which are capped on both ends by telomeres which protect the genome from damage but each time a cell divides the telomere gets a little bit shorter and once that cap wears away the cell basically can’t divide anymore without risking serious genetic damage now telomerase can lengthen telomeres granting some cells like stem cells a kind of pseudo immortality but cancer cells can co-opt telomerase for their nefarious purposes allowing them to keep dividing indefinitely so until now researchers have assumed that healthy cells switch off their telomerase as a way to protect themselves from turning cancerous however the researchers in this study noticed that in previous studies of lab mice bred to be unable to express telomerase in their cells those telomerase ‘less mice showed some unexpected side effects like higher rates of cancer and shorter lifespans this made the scientists curious about whether that missing telomerase had a more nuanced role in cellular health than had been suspected to investigate they looked at skin cells from two lineages of lab mice the ones that had no telomerase and ones that still had it they let the cells go through their natural life cycle while monitoring how they were growing and aging and watching for signals of cellular processes like DNA damage and they found that the cells without telomerase seemed to approach senescence more quickly the technical term for cellular old-age and they were more likely to develop more cancerous characteristics than ones with the enzyme restoring the cell’s ability to produce telomerase reduce to these effects which kind of seems backwards because remember cancer cells use telomerase to help make themselves immortal so by conventional thinking no telomerase should mean less cancer later experiments in the study found similar changes in proteins within human skin cells when their telomerase genes expression is reduced suggesting human cells use the same mechanism conventionally it’s been thought that normal cells produce very little telomerase or none at all but essentially the only reason it would turn on is if the cell is moving towards cancer but the researchers actually detected a burst of telomerase production in response to DNA during the aging process even in normal cells so altogether telomerase may protect ourselves by tapping the brakes just a bit on the aging process the researchers don’t know the exact mechanism but think it may indeed extend those telomeres and might help direct the cell’s response to DNA damage this could in turn reduce the effects of stress from aging and help prevent those cells from eventually giving rise to tumors the researchers say the next step is to figure out how telomerase is turned on in healthy aging cells and speaking of ways to get things to stick around for an unusually long time late last week researchers announced in the journal Science advances that they found a way to capture and release mechanical waves basically vibrations when a wave hits another object it’s usually either reflected and scattered like when a sound wave echoes off a wall or is absorbed into the material and dissipated as heat but there might be another option theoretically by hitting a particular object with two waves tailored to resonate with that object and tightly controlling how the wave varies over time they could store the waves energy inside the object as if it had been absorbed but without losing it this phenomenon is called coherent virtual absorption and this is weird because it circumvents what we think waves should do but it’s also potentially exciting because it could open up new mechanical designs for engineering or products monitoring minut vibrations can help tell us if structures like buildings and bridges are in danger of collapse for instance back in 2017 the scientists published work showing this might theoretically be possible with light waves but this time around the researchers wanted to see if they could not only extend this concept to other types of waves but actually take it from the theoretical into the real world to put this to the test the scientists performed a proof of principle experiment they built a device with a carbon steel rod with vibrating actuators attached to each end in the center of the bar it was a cavity where the wave would be stored the actuators when turned on sent waves down the device like a plucked guitar string by tweaking the waves in certain ways to interact with both each other and the cavity in the middle the scientists could find a set up where the waves energy was captured and stored and as long as the scientists maintained the correct configuration the waves energy didn’t scatter or dissipate into heat it was contained and then by tweaking the signals again the scientists could release it in a controllable way this is noteworthy not just because cool when something someone worked out on paper can be turned into a real-world object but because the scientists think this new idea could eventually lead to new ways to control vibrations and that can be used to do things like monitor bridge safety or create better speakers and expanding it to other types of waves could even improve things like wireless charging and quantum computing so there’s a lot of places that this technology could go even if the waves themselves are stuck in one place thanks for watching this episode of scishow news but before you go we have a new dftba pin of the month to show you I mean we don’t have it physically here because we haven’t had them made yet but it’s this super fun super retro Viking Lander and it’s available for pre-order throughout the month of September so if you like old-school robotic space exploration or if you just like orange rainbows this is your chance to show it off I just love how this Lander always looks like it’s kind of waving at you these pins will ship in October at which point they will never be available again but next month spin will be just as cool you can check them out and order one for yourself in the merch shelf below the video or over at dftba.com slash scishow [Music] you [Music]

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100 Replies to “A Cancer Gene May Be More Friendly Than We Thought | SciShow News”

  1. I've always said that cancer holds the secret to extending our lives, and maybe even immortality. The closer we get to understanding cancer, the closer we get to drastically extending life expectancy.

  2. I'm curious how this wave storing actually functions. It's not a wave anymore, it's not heat, and it's not reflected? So in what form is it stored?

  3. What other way can a cell become immortal (without telomerase)? Did the researchers put forth a possible explanation for this backwards sounding concept?

  4. Wait, so are you telling me the wave capture kept 100% of the energy? Since it didn't dissipate into heat? If so then that would have an enormous variety of uses… :O

  5. Have you heard the ramped up hype concerning the space elevator?
    https://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/robots/a28871763/space-elevator-design/

  6. Okay, official "pronunciation of telomere" research:
    In American English it's typically pronounced "teh-lə-meer", while British english prefers "tee-lə-meer". A far less common variation is "til-ə-meer", though this one is still valid. In the original Greek form τέλος (telos), the e is much higher, sounding like the Canadianism "eh". Considering the original Greek, a person could be a hipster about it and pronounce it "tay-lə-mare", which is obviously the preferable way to do it on the internet.

  7. Looks like the first component of shock rifle has been invented. Needs a lot of improvement, together with the invention of other components, but hey. Maybe we will have actually cool weapons (aside of minigun, of course), with one of them capable to put force of 200 t moving about 100 m/s in area ranging from 1 mm^2 to 1 m^2.

  8. Isn't this old knowledge? It's been known for a long time that telomerase has slow aging effects. I learned about the 3 years back already?

  9. Monitoring structure integrity and increasing quantam computing power are definitely very useful applications of wave containment technology…
    However… That's going to take a back seat to the weapons we can make and coupled with better computing we will eventually hit singularity and start taking our robot selves into the oceans of stars.
    And, this theoretically extends to even light waves? So, unlimited, possibly perpetual energy AND robot bodies with quantam brains … I see a new evolutionary step in mankind… Though, we can't be called homo sapien sapien sapiens at that point. … I wonder what we would change it to. Would we even care? Hmm … Would …or could we even still be considered human?

  10. Wow. This is idiotic! Telomeres are at the end of the dna cause if something F’s up its most likely to be toward the end. It’s sacrificial protection.

  11. nice, they figured out how to make a kinetic battery (Capacitor), wonder how long it will take them to figure out swing theory.

  12. I hate these videos, always giving people false hope, even if this does work we will all be dead by then or too old for it to matter, I’m still waiting for graphene phone batteries and Vantablack for my car and hyperloop, I want them now 😡

  13. Isn't the reason for cells turning cancerous because it's genetic material is too different from its surrounding, normal, human cells? So an enzyme that increases the length of the DNA protecting cap reducing cancer rates is expected since that would mean less genetic deterioration for the cell.

  14. Telomere and telomerase.
    I say both with “teh” sound. I guess this is different across regions.
    People who say “tee”lomere, do you also say “mee”thane? Or “meh”thane?

  15. My main criticism of the second part is the exclusive focus on real world applications. It should be awesome just on the basis of gaining a deeper understanding of nature. Real applications are great, but they are far from the end all and be all of science.

  16. It probably means that there's an ideal amount of telomerase to allow apoptois to happen before the telomeres are fully decayed and active genes start to get damaged

  17. Who ever named Telomerase was a jerk.
    'Hmm what should be call this… Lets just mess with everyone and make it sound like Telomeres. Hee hee.'

  18. nature : absorb waves energy
    humans : wait that's illegal, we're the one who make the rule in this universe

    nature : global warming
    humans : desperate noises

  19. How does the space ship work, Scotty?
    Well, we capture incoming gravity waves and then we re-create those waves and ride the waves by warping space time. "Faster than light," but we don't have to do that much to make them as nature keeps sending them.
    Fascinating.

  20. The Wave capture technology is interesting because it's theory-to-application development, but the minute control required is more energy intensive than letting the wave dissipate.
    As it stands, converting waves into electricity and storing the electricity is the better way to go about doing things like that.

  21. So maybe it’s not such a dumb idea to use telomerase to artificially combat senescence… I was thinking about this very idea just a few minutes before I saw the video.

  22. It almost seems like someone with the right kind of cancer could be immortalized if the body didn't react and the cancer only wanted to join with us endlessly and help sustain our form. Thus only dying disease or physical loss of homeostasis

  23. Genes are just the BLUEPRINT.
    Toss a set of plans of a house into a hole and weeks later all you have is a set of plans in an empty hole. You need some sort of ACTION to READ the BLUEPRINT and BUILD something. One "gene" does not just control "one thing", it's a plan for many different things and it is in the action of reading and building that gives you the end product.

  24. I came to down vote this video, but found nothing objectionable. I expected some ignorant praise for turning our cells immortal. Thumbs up.

  25. I must say I was surprised that telomerase was seen as something that could be unhealthy and create cancer. My view understanding the function of telomerase would have the opposite effect. Of course I do not know if really helps in high dosage. Just that it seem important function to keep you healthy. But I do know that some senescence research are interesting in using it for anti-ageing. It will likely not cure ageing but could possibly help people live longer more healthy lives. (And is not pretty much all curative medical science really about extending lifespans in the long run?)

  26. Maybe we can use this to eventually "cure" the aging process. It will be a game changer and have huge implications on society and the environment, but if we approach it wisely we as a species Dave advance greatly

  27. Couple of questions you could answer:

    Why do dogs never appear to get common colds?

    Why does metal get very hot when you bend it really quickly? (Try it guys, grab an old spoon and bend it back and forth and then touch the centre of the bend)

  28. Listened to this and found out that all these years, I've supported myself as a guitar plucker. Sounds kind of plucked up to me!

  29. Telomere: long "e" tee-low-mear
    Telomerase: — same, long "e" — tee-low-mer-ace not tell-om-er-ace

    The general rule in English is that the vowel is long unless the following consonant is doubled, then the vowel is shortened.

  30. I recall it being mentioned when I watched From The New World. Of course, It is a fictitious story so who knows if we could actually live that long.

  31. But was the study peer-reviewed? If not then this is contributing towards the media-bias of only reporting on the "fancy" studies and pushing important peer-reviewing to the back of the funding pile.

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