Telomerase – make your skin immortal!

I know that the beauty industry has made a habit of twisting science somewhat for it’s own ends (see this and this for instance), but this one takes the biscuit.
The wife spotted a piece in Harper’s Bazaar while she was in the hairdressers yesterday, about an amazing new beauty treatment (the article itself is hard to link to, but it’s number 3 in the list of “9 Skin Secrets for Spring“). Injections of telomerase for $1,500 a pop. Apparently it ‘stimulates resting stem cells’. Obviously the Harper’s piece has guff about it being Nobel-prize winning technology.
Telomerase is an enzyme that amplifies DNA repeats at the ends of chromosomes, without this activity, the telomeres would get progressively shorter until the “Hayflick limit” is reached and the cell will stop dividing, or undergo programmed cell death (there’s a reasonable review of the role of telomerase here: http://www.jco.ascopubs.org/cgi/content/full/18/13/2626).
Now I’m no expert, but as far as I know, telomerase is turned off in normal somatic cells, and telomerase activity has been associated with up to 90% of cancers (even its Wikipedia entry will tell me this much, a rather old paper with some concrete figures can be found here: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0959-8049(97)00062-2). I’m not suggesting for a second that injecting telomerase will give you cancer (the overwhelming probability is it will do nothing at all), but this seems to be an amazing example of abusing science in the name of ‘beauty’.

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