Ellis Martin Report: Dr. Bill Andrews-The Cure for the Disease of Aging is Upon Us


The Ellis Martin Report Interview with Dr. William Andrews of Sierra Sciences

December 15, 2010


The Ellis Martin Report:                            Welcome to The Ellis Martin Report.  Today I’m speaking with Dr. William Andrews, CEO and President of Sierra Sciences.  Together with his colleagues, Dr. Andrews is involved successfully in developing a cure for the disease of aging.  Dr. Andrews welcome to the program. 

Dr. Bill Andrews:                Thank you very much for having me.

TEMR:                                   Your work focuses largely on a part of our cells that have everything to do with the aging process, telomeres.  What are telomeres?

Dr. Bill Andrews:                Telomeres are very small things inside of our cells.  If we were to pretend we had a microscope and we could zoom in on a human being we’d first find that a human being is made up of about 100 trillion cells.  In most theories on why we age say we age because of our cells age.  Trying to figure out how to stop their aging is probably a good way to stop the aging of our entire body.  We zoom in even further on these cells we find that every cell contains a nucleus.  Then inside these nuclei are found the chromosomes.  The chromosomes are the things that contain all of our genes that give us all of our blue eyes, blonde hair, et cetera.  The chromosomes are made up of DNA.  They’re very, very long strands of beads essentially.  At the very tip of the long string of beads is called the telomere.  Finally, when we get to zoom in on a human being we finally get to where the telomere is.  It’s a very small stretch inside of every cell.  It’s found that every time our cells divide the tips of our chromosomes get shorter.  This is mostly due to the fact that our cells lack the ability to replicate the very tips of the chromosomes.  So, every time our cells divide the tips get shorter.  When we are first conceived our telomeres are measured to be about 15,000 beads or what I’m going to call bases.  They’re about 15,000 bases in length.  As soon as our cells start to divide, as we develop into a newborn baby, our telomeres shorten and shorten and shorten through lots of cell division.  When we’re finally born our telomeres have shortened down to 10,000 bases.  Now most of our cell division has occurred at that time but cells still divide as we become adults.  Telomeres keep shortening and shortening as we grow up.  When they get down to about 5,000 bases that’s when we typically die of old age.  We don’t find just this is an aging related thing.  We find that it affects almost every aspect of our health imaginable. 

TEMR:                                   You were among the first to discovery telomerase which is an enzyme that encourages telomeres to actually grow.  Have you successfully tested on mice? 

Dr. Bill Andrews:                We haven’t but other scientists have.  As soon as we published telomerase we made the gene available to labs all over the world.  This was all done when I was working at Geron Corporation.  Several labs, especially the labs of Maria Blasco and Ronald DePinho, they definitely did experiments with mice.  There was the most exciting anti-aging paper we’ve ever heard of just got published a little over a week ago by Ronald DePinho’s lab where they were actually able to show that they could reverse human aging by inducing the extension of the telomerase gene inside the mouse cells.  They did this when mice were really old.  Then they induced telomerase and the mice actually got younger.  First time ever that this has been succeeded outside the realms of science fiction movies.  This is a very good proof of concept because it shows that what we are trying to do will actually work in humans.

TEMR:                                   This sounds literally amazing.  Is it possible more or less that age related diseases such as osteoporosis would be reversed?  Would one’s spine straighten out?

Dr. Bill Andrews:                Yes.  We have lots of data now supporting the fact that this is going to happen.  But we’ve been unable to prove it except for this little bit of experiments done on mice by Ronald DePinho.  There’s no human data yet saying that we’re going to be able to actually reverse it.  But there’s lots, lot’s of supporting evidence.  In fact, there is so much data now supporting that this will work that the Nobel Prize in medicine was just awarded to (inaudible) Elizabeth Blackburn, Carol Greider, Jack Szostak last year for their pioneering work in biology for showing how it plays a role in the aging process and in cancer.

TEMR:                                   So, in a sense what you’re saying is that lengthening telomeres may be cancer therapy for those that are predestined to it genetically. 

Dr. Bill Andrews:                I’ve said many times before that if I had cancer I’d be taking as much telomerase inducer as I could get my hands on.  The best way to prevent cancer and to fight cancer is to keep your telomeres long.  And then, especially for fighting cancer you want to keep the telomeres long in your immune cells because one of our best defenses against cancer is the ability of our immune system to identify cancer cells and destroy them.

TEMR:                                   This is an incredible story and I had no idea such research existed until very recently.  I’m sure many of our listeners will be following the story closely now.  If you’d like to learn more about the ongoing research into the cure for aging find it at sierrasciences.com.  That’s, sierrasciences.com.  I’ve been speaking with the president of the company, Dr.  William Andrews.  Dr. Andrews thanks for joining us today on the Ellis Martin Report. 

Dr. Bill Andrews:                Thank you very much.  


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