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The Secret To Cell Immortality Essay

677 words - 3 pages

Rebecca Skloot’s The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks presented an intriguing concept; cell immortality. Many have pondered the idea that one day science will progress enough to make a human immortal. To this day, science has been able to reveal the properties that make cells immortal yet research has not discovered a way to modify humans to give them this incredible quality. It is known that a cell can undergo a series of replications before it reaches senescence, known as cell death.
In Chapter 27 “The Secret to Immortality” of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks Rebecca Skloot provided an explanation to why HeLa cells were “immortal” unlike other mortal cancer cells; the p53 tumor ...view middle of the document...

“Transcriptional Changes Associated with Breast Cancer Occur as Normal Human Mammary Epithelial Cells Overcome Senescence Barriers and Become Immortalized” also presents a crucial idea to why overcoming senescence is tricky. The article states how “overexpression of specific oncogenes can confer malignant properties” as well as the idea that “fully immortal HMEC [Human Mammary Epithelial Cells] maintain telomeres at short, stable lengths, but do not necessarily express malignancy-associated properties; overexpression of specific oncogenes can confer malignant properties.” This suggests that telomere length is crucial in extending or shortening a cell’s life, yet immortality can be reached with a short stable telomere as long as the right genes are on or off.
Although it is not possible to make humans immortal to this day, science has unveiled ways to make certain human cells immortal and that is a huge step. Aging Cell’s 2006 article “Nicotinamide Extends Replicative Lifespan of Human Cells” presents how the chemical Nicotinamide is susceptible of extending the life of human cells since “[it] delayed expression of the...

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