Hi folks–haven’t posted since late 2009, its been a busy couple of years. I’ve been involved in a lot of projects, speaking, writing, and consulting for other physicians about their patients. I’ve been involved in some new areas of study, one of which is telomere science (subject of the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 2009), and which I think is potentially one of the most significant biological discoveries, with very immediate applications for human health, and especially for healthy aging–something of great personal interest to me as I find myself in my mid 60s.
The length of our telomeres–the little caps that protect the end of our chromosomes, is what allows our stem cells to continue to populate the 50-100 trillion cells that make up each of our bodies. How we live, in terms of our nutrition, our environment, our physical activity levels, how much stress we’re under, and how we manage it, and to a minor extent, our genetic heritage, all influence how rapidly our telomere’s shorten. Ground breaking research by Maria Blasco in Spain, and many others, have indicated that the % of our cells with critically short telomeres is an excellent indicator of our risk for cancer and other degenerative diseases, as well as our likely health span and lifespan. I’ll have a lot more to say about this emerging field over the next few months and years. Its good to be back!