[mage lang=”en|es|fr|en” source=”flickr”]telomerase is found in[/mage]
how come through evolution, humans have not developed active telomerase in somatic cells?
how come through evolution, humans have not developed active telomerase in somatic cells or at least very long telomeres in cells, which would allow humans to live much longer? I don’t mean mutated, overactive telomerase that is found in cancer, but just a more active form of telomerase than generally exists in somatic cells. Long telomeres would not be a harmful mutation, but would in fact be nothing but beneficial since it allows protection of genes located more centrally in the chromosome.
Evolutionary theory cannot answer the question “why not”. It can only answer the question “why”. The only possible explanation or a “why not” question is “things work well enough without it.” We’re able to survive and reproduce with the telomerase we have now. At no point, as far as we know, has a mutation arisen and been passed on that would bring about a better system. Evolution does NOT produce the best possible solution to the problem of survival – it just creates something that works.
I would also add that if you’re thinking of telomerase in the context of aging, and wondering why we don’t live longer, I’d say that there would be clear negative consequences to the species as a whole if we all lived significantly longer than we do now.