Aging & Telomeres: Is There More to Know?

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In summary, the conversation discussed the role of telomeres in the aging process. It was established that as DNA replicates, telomeres become shorter and when they reach a certain point, the cell reaches senescence and can no longer replicate. However, there was curiosity about whether there is more to it, such as the effects on the cell when it reaches senescence. The conversation also mentioned concerns about the length of an assignment and the importance of understanding the molecular level of how telomeres shorten. The conversation concluded with a suggestion to find out more about the reasons behind telomere shortening.
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student007
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okay...i know that as DNA replicates, telomeres fall off/get shorter, and when they reach a certain point, the cell reaches senescence and can no longer replicate. I know that...but that's too simple. Is there more to it?...i.e. maybe anythign about when the cell reaches senescence, or any slightly more ocmplicated explanation? I hate to say this, but i have a TA who marks based on how long the assignment. My section on aging is only a small paragraph, and I am bound to lose marks on it...i just want to know if there's any way i can lengthen it
 
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  • #2
A warning: we are not here to make your assignment, but we can guide you (I think you know that).

So, first of all: telomeres don't fall off!

I want to ask you: do you know why telomeres shorten? And do you know why short telomeres are bad for a cell? Find out on a molecular level how that works and you will have your report :smile:
 
  • #3
So did you find an answer to my questions above?
 

Related to Aging & Telomeres: Is There More to Know?

1. What are telomeres and why are they important for aging?

Telomeres are the protective caps at the ends of our chromosomes. They play a crucial role in the aging process by protecting our genetic information from being lost or damaged during cell division.

2. How do telomeres shorten over time?

Each time a cell divides, its telomeres become slightly shorter. This is due to the DNA replication process, which is not 100% accurate. As a result, the telomeres gradually become shorter and eventually reach a critical length, triggering cell death.

3. Can lifestyle factors affect telomere length?

Yes, lifestyle factors such as stress, diet, exercise, and exposure to toxins can all impact telomere length. Chronic stress and an unhealthy diet have been linked to shorter telomeres, while regular exercise and a healthy diet may help slow down telomere shortening.

4. Is there a link between telomere length and disease?

Research has shown that shorter telomeres are associated with an increased risk of age-related diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and dementia. However, more studies are needed to fully understand the relationship between telomere length and disease.

5. Can telomeres be lengthened or repaired?

Some studies have shown that certain lifestyle factors, such as stress management and a healthy diet, may help slow down telomere shortening. However, there is currently no scientific evidence that telomeres can be lengthened or repaired once they have been shortened.

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