Telomeres

You’ve heard the term “Use it or lose it”? We’ve had a hunch that people who exercise fair better with regard to health and aging. But now this is scientific proof! And probably just the tip of the telomere, so to speak. ;-)

Telomeres, pronounced TEE-low-meres, are DNA caps that protect genes at the tips of chromosomes – all 23 pairs that reside in the nucleus of each of our trillions of cells. They are sort of like the tips that keep your shoelaces from unraveling.
A little more about telomeres:
In most normal human cells telomeres get slightly shorter with every cell division. The shortening telomeres act like a ‘molecular clock’ that eventually prevents cells from dividing any further. Telomere shortening not only contributes to aging, but also prevents normal cells from becoming cancerous. The majority of human tumor cells overcome telomere shortening by activating the telomerase enzyme that adds more DNA to the ends of chromosomes. Telomerase is not detected in most normal cells. This raises the exciting possibility that drugs that inhibit telomerase will be a very specific and non-toxic treatment for cancer.


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