Telomere length linked to risk of dying

Telomere length linked to risk of dying

Large study examines association between protective caps at end of chromosomes and health

By Tina Hesman Saey, 21:46 PM November 11, 2012

SAN FRANCISCO — Nearly gnawed-off telomeres — the protective caps on the ends of chromosomes — may portend a higher risk of death, a new study suggests.

Telomeres prevent a chromosome’s DNA from being eaten away. Previous studies have shown that telomeres shorten with age and linked short telomeres with several diseases. What no one has yet been able to say is if truncated telomeres cause health problems or are a side effect of aging and poor health.

To find out, researchers at Kaise...

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