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2015-02-20T00:00:00.000Z

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Wrong Preston Estep?

Dr. Preston Estep Pete III

Chief Scientific Officer

TeloMe Inc

HQ Phone:

TeloMe Inc

1395 Main St.

Waltham, Massachusetts 02451

United States

Company Description

TeloMe is a research-based biotechnology company providing services to those tracking and researching telomere length. Our long-term mission is to bring telomere testing into routine clinical use but substantial research is still required to make the tran... more

Find other employees at this company (3)

Background Information

Employment History

Chairman and Chief Scientist
The Innerspace Foundation

Chief Executive Officer
Longenity Inc.

Affiliations

Co-Founder
Mind First Foundation

Scientific Advisory Boards Member
Lifeboat Foundation

Member, Neuroscience Board
Lifeboat Foundation

Education

B.S.

Cornell University

Ph.D.

Harvard Medical School

Ph.D.
Genetics
Harvard University

Ph.D.
genetics
Harvard

Web References (108 Total References)


To better understand this connection, I ...

nucleicacids.tumblr.com [cached]

To better understand this connection, I spoke to Dr. Preston Estep, the Chief Scientific Officer of TeloMe, Inc., and an expert on genetics and human aging. Specifically, I asked him what biological mechanism could account for the shortening of the telomeres.

"Cell replication shortens telomeres, and telomerase, an enzyme encoded in our genes, makes telomeres longer," he said. "The overall balance of these two determines length, and typically telomerase levels are low enough to allow gradual shortening with time."
He says that people vary a lot in both starting telomere length and rate of shortening.
"One very important discovery made by the ENGAGE consortium is that genetic variants that predispose to shorter telomeres and higher disease risk are extremely common," he told io9. "I'm sure many people are surprised that common and even predominant genetic variants predispose to higher risk of disease and mortality, but we are finding this more often as more high-quality and large-scale studies like the ENGAGE study are published. However, from an evolutionary perspective this is to be expected, since the negative effects of these variants don't occur until later in the post-reproductive phase of life."
As Estep noted, the telomerase enzyme makes our telomeres longer. This insight, along with the genetic findings of ENGAGE, could mean that rejuvenation therapies might soon be possible. I asked Estep how difficult it is to measure someone's telomere length and whether or not a clinical application awaits us in the future.
"From our perspective, it is technically easy to measure average telomere length, and more difficult to do a detailed analysis that provides a detailed look at the distribution of telomere lengths from shortest to longest," he said.
...
But eventually, says Estep, the testing of telomeres will be very similar to routine cholesterol or blood pressure testing in a number of important ways:
Dynamic: Telomere lengths change over time and are influenced by both genetics and many lifestyle factors Meaningful: Very short or very long telomeres not only are associated with higher risk for disease and mortality, they are a cause Treatable: Telomere length can be controlled not only through lifestyle factors, but also through therapeutic means
And in fact, Estep is so serious about this that his company has set up an Indiegogo campaign for introducing people to telomere testing.
In terms of actual approaches, he has some ideas.
"Some weak ones that are already in use are vigorous exercise, stress reduction, good diet - the standard list of positive lifestyle factors," he told us. "However, people don't respond equally, and those who have very short telomeres might consider more potent means."
He says that telomerase activator supplements are already being sold, but that people should approach this whole area with great caution.
"I also think that more studies are needed to better understand the benefits and risks," he added.
"Nevertheless, people with very short telomeres are living with higher risk for many serious health issues, and their best hope for reducing the risk is to fix the problem," he said.


Do these startling longevity studies mean your lifespan could double? – The Personal Longevity Program

personal-longevity.com [cached]

As TeloMe's Preston Estep told me, the typical lab mouse - a strain called Black 6 (C57BL/6) - is by far the most widely used, and they are very different from wild mice in ways likely to be important for life-extension experiments. Further, most lab strains are very inbred and homozygous across large stretches of the genome. These inbred strains have very long telomeres relative to wild mice (a significant factor in biological aging); the average telomere length of Black 6 is many times longer (50 kilobases) than in wild mice (12 kilobases).

"Some important findings have come from experimenting on Black 6 and other inbred strains, but many scientists are choosing an organism that doesn't suit the experiment," Estep told io9.
...
Moreover, according to Estep, food fed to mice in the labs is basically junk food - about 70% of calories from starch and sugar. "I sometimes call typical caloric restriction experiments in mice "Cookie Restriction," he says.
...
Estep pointed me to several experiments, including Blasco's telomerase overexpression and TA-65-treated mice, and van Duersen and colleagues' clearance of senescent cells. But as he reminded me, these experiments were done on Black 6 mice.
Do these startling longevity studies mean your lifespan could double?
"Consider one example of how this might create a problem," says Estep.
...
More cautiously, Estep believes that some important findings have come from experimenting on mice like Black 6 and other inbred strains, but he feels that many biologists aren't going about it in the right way.
"This and other complications make the Mprize fraught with many difficulties and challenges," he says. "It would be ideal to limit the competitions (both longevity and rejuvenation) to wild strains that have been engineered using methods that at least might be used directly in humans, but this is a very tough call.
Estep, who appreciates the work being done by the Mprize, understands the motivation to keep it more open but, as one example, the switch used in the van Duersen mice can't be used in already living humans.
"I fear that over time the prize might get an increasing number of entries that feature engineered mechanisms that aren't portable to people already alive."
Special thanks to Aubrey de Grey, Reason, Preston Estep, Kevin Perrott, and Emily Anthes for helping me with this article.


To better understand this connection, I ...

scinerds.tumblr.com [cached]

To better understand this connection, I spoke to Dr. Preston Estep, the Chief Scientific Officer of TeloMe, Inc., and an expert on genetics and human aging. Specifically, I asked him what biological mechanism could account for the shortening of the telomeres.

"Cell replication shortens telomeres, and telomerase, an enzyme encoded in our genes, makes telomeres longer," he said. "The overall balance of these two determines length, and typically telomerase levels are low enough to allow gradual shortening with time."
He says that people vary a lot in both starting telomere length and rate of shortening.
"One very important discovery made by the ENGAGE consortium is that genetic variants that predispose to shorter telomeres and higher disease risk are extremely common," he told io9. "I'm sure many people are surprised that common and even predominant genetic variants predispose to higher risk of disease and mortality, but we are finding this more often as more high-quality and large-scale studies like the ENGAGE study are published. However, from an evolutionary perspective this is to be expected, since the negative effects of these variants don't occur until later in the post-reproductive phase of life."
As Estep noted, the telomerase enzyme makes our telomeres longer. This insight, along with the genetic findings of ENGAGE, could mean that rejuvenation therapies might soon be possible. I asked Estep how difficult it is to measure someone's telomere length and whether or not a clinical application awaits us in the future.
"From our perspective, it is technically easy to measure average telomere length, and more difficult to do a detailed analysis that provides a detailed look at the distribution of telomere lengths from shortest to longest," he said.
...
But eventually, says Estep, the testing of telomeres will be very similar to routine cholesterol or blood pressure testing in a number of important ways:
Dynamic: Telomere lengths change over time and are influenced by both genetics and many lifestyle factors Meaningful: Very short or very long telomeres not only are associated with higher risk for disease and mortality, they are a cause Treatable: Telomere length can be controlled not only through lifestyle factors, but also through therapeutic means
And in fact, Estep is so serious about this that his company has set up an Indiegogo campaign for introducing people to telomere testing.
In terms of actual approaches, he has some ideas.
"Some weak ones that are already in use are vigorous exercise, stress reduction, good diet - the standard list of positive lifestyle factors," he told us. "However, people don't respond equally, and those who have very short telomeres might consider more potent means."
He says that telomerase activator supplements are already being sold, but that people should approach this whole area with great caution.
"I also think that more studies are needed to better understand the benefits and risks," he added.
"Nevertheless, people with very short telomeres are living with higher risk for many serious health issues, and their best hope for reducing the risk is to fix the problem," he said.


TeloMe People

www.telome.com [cached]

Preston W. Estep III, Ph.D., CEO and Chief Scientific Officer

Dr. Estep received his B.S. from Cornell University and his Ph.D. in Genetics from Harvard University. He performed his doctoral research in The Harvard Molecular Technology Group laboratory of genomics pioneer and TeloMe co-founder Professor George Church. Dr. Estep is the founder and former CEO and Chief Scientific Officer of the human longevity biotech company Longenity, Inc. He is on multiple advisory boards of non-profit and startup organizations, and he is a director of the Personal Genome Project based at Harvard Medical School.


TeloMe About

www.telome.com [cached]

TeloMe was founded in 2010 by Preston Estep, Ph.D. and Professor George Church of the Molecular Technology group at Harvard Medical School, and the Personal Genome Project based at HMS.

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