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The long and short of it

3 min read

DNA double helix

There’s a lot going on at a microscopic level, that’s more dynamic than scientists once thought.  They believed that the DNA at the ends of chromosomes were static, when in fact, in many of the organisms they studied, the end caps or telomeres, are always changing, shortening and lengthening, over and over again.

As scientists investigated these fluctuating end caps, they observed a whole new paradigm and the discovery of the enzyme called telomerase, which creates a favorable environment for telomeres and in turn, positively impacts the aging of human cells.

Actually, as far back as the 1930s, geneticists McClintock and  Muller, discovered that the endcaps, or telomeres, at the end of DNA strands provided stability, so that chromosomes wouldn’t stick together, change structurally or act up, causing replication problems.

Then, forty years later, in the 70’s, the actual nucleotide makeup of the telomeres was identified. Nucleotides are the structural components of DNA.  Next, the researchers described the features of the telomeres in a whole host of animals, plants, single cell and multi cellular organisms.  Turns out that the telomeres in humans and mice have the same telomere nucleotides, in the same sequence, meaning the mouse model is a good proxy for human telomerase experiments.

Ten years later, in the 80’s, the next discovery was the long and short of it

Telomere lengths fluctuate at different rates, in different cells common to a given organism, as well as in the same cell over a period of time.  By studying these differences, scientists could propose solutions to the end-replication problem.

What is the end replication problem? 

It has to do with the accuracy of genes replicating, when they divide.  It’s critical that each “offspring” cell has to have a full set of genes to function properly.  The genes are bounded at each end by telomeres, that help the accuracy of this replication process.

As your cells replicate over and over again, if they didn’t have end caps, your chromosomes would get shorter and shorter with each division, eliminating important genes. Then the cells would die and that would be the end of that line. Thank God for the telomeres!  While they shorten as cells divide, they also lengthen in the presence of telomerase, building extensions of the single strands of DNA, so that your cells can survive longer and copy accurately.

The discovery of that enzyme, telomerase, and the process whereby chromosomes can be copied accurately, without breaking down, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 2009. This discovery by Greider, Blackburn and Szostak enlightened scientists to a whole new world in anti aging research, not to mention inherited diseases and possible new therapies.

How does this help you? Well, as time marches on and you experience maybe a little less spring in your step, don’t accept it as inevitable.  Thanks to the discovery of telomerase, you now have a very powerful weapon in your anti aging arsenal.  They call it preserving “health span”, meaning possibly longer, more vital lives than we can even imagine.  Don’t waste another minute. Dr. Dave’s Best Telomere Edge Packsis the natural supplement that helps maintain telomere length, keeping your cells thriving longer and helping keep you younger.  As anti aging science gets more and more intriguing and new therapies are discovered, you want to be around and in optimal health, to take advantage of these breakthroughs.