Telomerase turns back the clock

National Human Genome Research Institute [Public domain] via Wikimedia Commons

Telomeres are ‘caps’ of DNA located at the ends of chromosomes that shorten as cells divide. The loss of telomeres is associated with tissue atrophy, stem cell depletion, organ failure and impaired injury response, and this structural and functional decline accelerates with age. Scientists have wondered whether restoring telomere function could slow or even stop age-related degeneration. Now, a group of researchers led by Ronald A. DePinho (Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA) has addressed this question by reactivating telomerase in adult mice with severe telomere dysfunction.

Lab Anim. (NY) 40, 4 (2011).
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