Old age and cancer cells could be the primary foci of studies with the discovery of telomere an telomerase telomere length measurement is an offshoot of a great discovery by formidable team of scientists. Elizabeth Blackburn and Jack Szostak discovered telomere, a cap that protects the chromosomes from degradation. For this, they earned a Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for this great discovery.
When a cell replicates itself, telomeres get shorter. This eventually results to having telomeres getting too short for its function to protect the chromosomes. When this happens, cells age and stop functioning properly.
The New Nucleic Acid System
Telomerase and telomeres make up a new system of nucleic acids. Telomerase counters the shortening of telomere. Telomeres are caps that protect the chromosomes from deterioration and the vital information in our DNA. The human cell is packed with nucleic acids, which have unique chemical personality. Telomeres are like plastic tips at the end of shoelaces. Without telomeres, DNA strands are damaged. This has a negative impact on how the cell functions. Eventually, it wears out the cell and kills it.
Shortening of Telomeres Shorten Life?
Telomerase supplies bases to the ends of telomeres. In young cells, telomerase keeps telomeres from wearing down too much. But as cells divide repeatedly, there is not enough telomerase, so the telomeres grow shorter and the cells age. This means that telomeres are shortened as we age. Telomere shortening is involved in all aspects of the aging process on a cellular level. Aside from aging, stress, smoking, obesity, lack of exercise and poor diet shorten telomere.
Lengthening Life Through Lengthening Telomeres
Scientists have been intensively studying about lengthening telomeres. It is claimed thatlengthened telomeres increases longevity. There are certain ways how to increase the length of telomeres. These involve, controlling and reducing stress, exercising regularly, eating of foods rich in vitamins and antioxidants, and practicing meditation and yoga. Recently,Ramuras and his team found a way to lengthen telomeres. The applied modified RNA to human cells over a few days. They have found that the increase in telomere length was up to 10%.
Healthy Lifestyle Lengthens Telomeres
The discovery of telomere and telomerase have created an impact in the science community. One of the ways of lengthening the telomeres is living a healthy lifestyle. However, it should be noted that there are biotechnology companies that can help you improve your lifestyle. The advantage of having these companies helping you out is that they have a wide array of technologies as in the case of determining the length of your telomeres. You definitely know how to live a healthy lifestyle but having technology to help you out addresses your needs better.
The discovery of a new system of nucleic acids in the form of telomeres and telomerase has positively impacted biotechnology and the whole scientific community. Studies have been directed towards determining the possible effects of lengthening telomeres in those who undergo old age and suffer old age frailties. Cancer cells have also been studied using this primary knowledge on lengthening the telomeres.