Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Weird Wednesday ~ Turn off Aging

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Scientists at the Salk Institute have discovered an on/off switch for aging. Cells in our bodies are constantly dividing and replenishing our body parts. But most human cells cannot divide indefinitely. Each has a 'timekeeper', called a telomere, at the end of the chromosomes which shortens as division occurs. When this telomere becomes too short, then division ceases.
But some cells produce an enzyme called a telomerase which rebuilds telomeres and allows cells to continue to divide. Controlling the telomerase enzyme would allow for control of cancer cells (which rely on high levels for rapid cell division) or to help control aging or even to help regenerate injured parts of the body.

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Aine O'Brien said...

wow...VERY interesting!

the dogs' mother said...

Yes, really interesting!