lizabeth Blackburn and Jack Szostak discovered that telomeres protect the chromosomes from degradation. For this, they earned a Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for this great discovery.
Every time a cell undergoes division, telomeres get shorter. This eventually results to having telomeres getting too short for its function. When this happens, cells age and stop functioning properly.
What are Telomeres?
Telomeres are caps that protect the chromosomes from deterioration and the vital information in our DNA. The human cell is packed with nucleic acids, which have unique chemical personality. Telomeres are like plastic tips at the end of shoelaces. Without telomeres, DNA strands are damaged. This has a negative impact on how the cell functions. Eventually, it wears out the cell and kills it.
What Happens When Telomeres Are Shortened?
Telomerase and telomeres were found to belong to the same nucleic acid system. Telomerase counters the shortening of telomere. Telomerase supplies bases to the ends of telomeres. In young cells, telomerase keeps telomeres from wearing down too much. But as cells divide repeatedly, there is not enough telomerase, so the telomeres grow shorter and the cells age. This means that telomeres are shortened as we age. Telomere shortening is involved in all aspects of the aging process on a cellular level. Aside from aging, stress, smoking, obesity, lack of exercise and poor diet shorten telomere.
Experts claim that lengthening telomeres also increases longevity. There are certain ways how to increase the length of telomeres. These involve, controlling and reducing stress, exercising regularly, eating of foods rich in vitamins and antioxidants, and practicing meditation and yoga. Recently,Ramuras and his team found a way to lengthen telomeres. The applied modified RNA to human cells over a few days. They have found that the increase in telomere length was up to 10%. Ramuras and his team were surprised with this finding.
Three Steps that Life Length Offers
Life Length is the world leader in the telomere length measurement at a cellular level from blood and tissue samples. With a wide array of unique patented technologies, the company addresses living habits and aging through telomere and telomerase measurement. There are three easy steps where the company does this. Patients who are interested in testing the lengths of their telomeres can request a kit from their physicians or choose one from our network of participating doctors. Kits are then ordered for testing. The kit is delivered to physicians who will administer the test to their patients along with our questionnaire to complete the Life Length testing process. Kits are returned to our labs for analysis. Upon reviewing the results, physicians consult their patients and begin planning the next steps in making improvements to habits and to overall lifestyle.
The discovery of a new system of nucleic acids in the form of telomeres and telomerase has positively impacted biotechnology. This has also brought a lot of new possibilities on longevity despite old age or suffering from a disease. With companies like Life Length, everything can be made possible.