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Glasgow scientists say telomeres indicate life length

Posted in Science on 12th Jan, 2012 12:37 AM by APM

Scientists at Glasgow University say they have found a key genetic indicator of how long an individual will live.


They say the lengths of tiny pieces of DNA called telomeres indicate whether a young creature is likely to live long into old age.


But before you rush out to get your telomeres stretched - were such a process possible - it is worth pointing out that the creatures they have been working with are not humans but altogether shorter-lived zebra finches.


Everything that is made up of living cells contains chromosomes: the genetic code that makes us what we are.


At the ends of each chromosome lie the telomeres. They have been likened to the caps on the ends of shoelaces - they stop things from unravelling.


Over time they wear down - and when they do, the DNA they protect is compromised and the cell can malfunction or die.


This is where the zebra finches came in: how early and accurately could longer telomeres predict a longer life?


To find out, the Glasgow researchers collaborated with colleagues at Exeter University, with Glasgow's Prof Pat Monaghan leading the team.


Tiny blood samples were taken from a group of 99 zebra finches and the lengths of their telomeres measured. They were tested again throughout their lifetimes.

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Author: Guest
Posted: 2013-09-13
awOMHT Thanks so much for the blog article.Really looking forward to read more. Awesome. Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2016-05-07
Why on earth is the fire department going to the nursing homes? Doe7s&#821n;t the nursing home have, you know Nurses on staff to deal with medical situations? There can’t be 100 life or death situations each and every year that require an ambulance. Perhaps they need to stop abusing the service and maybe have some nurses on staff. Reply


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