Friday, December 3, 2010
What Causes Us To Age?
It appears that the key to understanding aging is to look at it from a genetic perspective. At the end of all chromosomes are stretches of protein called telomeres. These telomeres protect the chromosome but every time the chromosome replicates (like in cell division), the telemeres shorten until the cell can no longer divide.
These shortened telomeres also appear to be the cause of some cancers. Studies have found shortened telomeres in pancreatic, bone, prostate, bladder, lung, kidney, and head and neck cancer.
Research looks promising in using an enzyme, telomerase,in allowing cells to divide beyond their usual life span.