Thursday, April 7, 2011

Telomere length

I just wanted to point to a couple of interesting stories I'd come across about telomeres.  The first was on the consistently excellent Perfect Health Diet:  Paul talks about What Telomeres Tell Us About Human Disease   It is a fascinating post.

At the same time, I also saw this in Scientific American, My, What Long Telomeres You Have 

Telomeres are caps on the ends of chromosomes, protecting them much as plastic tips on the ends of shoelaces keep the laces from fraying. Whenever chromosomes—the store houses of our genes—are replicated in preparation for cell division, their telomeres shorten. That shrinking has led many scientists to view telomere length as a marker of biological aging, a “molecular” clock ticking off the cell’s life span, as well as an indicator of overall health. Studies comparing the telomere length of white blood cells among groups of volunteers show distinct correlations between telomere length and lifestyle. Those who exercise regularly have longer telomeres than those who do not. Folks who perceive themselves as the most stressed have shorter telomeres than those who see themselves as the least.

 Definitely worth reading.

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