«It’s a laboratory like any other,» confesses modestly its director, Maria Blasco, as we walk between microscopes, test tubes, stills and retorts. It is nothing less than the laboratory of the Telomerase and Telomerase Group of the CNIO (National Center for Oncological Research), whose management also has Blasco. It will be like any other, but in other laboratories it has not been discovered how to significantly extend the life of small mammals, nor have deadly tumors been eliminated, nor has a gene therapy been developed that could extend our life, according to the most conservatives, up to 140 years. That is the figure that Maria Blasco ventures in the book she signs next to Mónica G. Salomone, Morir joven, at 140 (Paidós, 2016), of recent appearance. Disciple of the pioneers in their discipline, Molecular Biology, it is possible that Maria Blasco has found the exact distillation of the elixir of eternal youth. And yet modesty, once again, seems to be a distinctive feature of his character at the sight of his office, attached to the laboratory. Narrow, elongated and dominated by a large window from which you can see the treetops of this residential area in the vicinity of the Plaza de Castilla, there is barely room for the desk and the work chair. From this office Maria Blasco glimpses the future of human longevity and the fight against cancer, myocardial infarction and Alzheimer’s. On the wall, next to the computer, family photos. And in front, a horizon without mapping on which to blur the look.
Javier Redondo Jordán
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