Monday, October 5, 2009

Telomeres and their effect on aging yield Nobel Prize

This year's Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine is awarded to three scientists who have solved a major problem in biology: how the chromosomes can be copied in a complete way during cell divisions and how they are protected against degradation. The Nobel Laureates have shown that the solution is to be found in the ends of the chromosomes, called the telomeres, and in an enzyme that forms them.

Biologists have long understood that Telomeres have a role in the aging process by acting as a fuse of sorts. They act as a repair mechanism for DNA, but degrade over time.

Theoretically, by stopping or reversing the degradation of Telomere's the repair mechanisms would continue and the aging process would be slowed.

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