Archive for the ‘telomere definition’ tag
What is the definition of a telomere?
The Internet is littered with theory about what exactly is a telomere, and how and why does it play into the aging process? This site was set up to set the record straight on this often misunderstood topic.
At the end of every chromosome are pieces of DNA that serve as a protective seal over your real DNA each time cell division takes place.
Because cells divide, the last remaining piece of chromosome cannot be duplicated, and part of it gets cut off. As cells divide, the telomeres become shorter each time, and eventually, they no longer exist. When this happens, the “real DNA” cannot be replicated and the cell begins to age instead of replicating itself.
Facts About Telomere Shortening
Studies show that older citizens have shorter telomeres. As they reach a point in life where the cells can no longer replicate, the inevitable signs of aging start to show. This is often why telomere length is discussed as a secret to longevity.
Here’s another chart showing the shortening process.
Why Do We Have Them?
Think of these magical strains as the ends of shoelaces. You know that plastic piece that keeps the string in order and makes sure it doesn’t unravel? That’s basically what the telomere can do – ensure your skin doesn’t start to unravel. Without them, the part of the genes that are critical for life would become shorter every time a cell divides. Of course, for getting new skin to grow, they are essential. The same can be said for blood, bone, and even other cells.