The science behind aging: Can we prevent those wrinkles?
Our body has the natural capability to regenerate through cell division that ensures your survival. Ironically, this crucial biological process typically wanes as we age. Ever wondered what is the key to this process? The ground breaking cell biology research by Dr Elizabeth Blackburn (Nobel Prize winner) in the late 20th century successfully unravelled the vital role of telomeres (the structures which cap the tips of chromosomes) in protecting the genetic information within our chromosomes. It was shown that telomeres naturally shorten over time (with each successive cell division) and upon their depletion, the cells will stop dividing or die. The capability of our body to regenerate and to maintain its physiological functions will decline when more cells in our body cease to divide hence triggering the process of aging. As such, the rate of telomere-shortening is an important factor which determines the lifespan of a cell and more importantly our biological clock.
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