Some Interesting Facts About Telomeres
The use of telomerase analysis technology (TAT) is becoming rampant in this day and age. Essentially, this test serves as a biomarker to determine the early prognosis and risk of certain diseases like cancer. The process involves a comprehensive analysis and evaluation of the length of the telomere. The length of telomeres is a key factor in determining age-related diseases. Telomeres can be used as either an independent biomarker or in combination with other biomarkers. What makes analyzing telomeres much more convenient will have to be the fact that you can get it from various samples of the body. To understand more about telomerase analysis technology, it helps if you get to know telomeres first and foremost. This article will provide you with some interesting facts about telomeres now.
As previously stated, there is a link between the length of your telomeres and age-related health conditions. People age, and this is a natural process that everyone goes through. As of this writing, there are still a lot of things that need to be discovered about aging, why it happens, and what causes it. Different scientists come up with different theories like DNA damaged by oxidative stress. Should glucose be blamed as well? What about the cells of the body just all along following a biological timetable that is pre-programmed? While there are many theories, one thing is for sure: there are many causes of aging.
According to one theory, the natural aging process is associated with one’s telomeres. Telomeres are tiny protective caps that you can find at ends of DNA molecules that form your chromosomes. Their main role is to ensure that the ends of your chromosomes don’t end up sticking to each other or fraying.
Another role that telomeres play is to ensure that during cell division, a person’s DNA will be copied correctly. However, there are times during DNA replication that the building blocks or nucleotides at the strand’s end are not included in the new copy of the DNA. This leads to the loss of some important genetic information. As cells divide regularly, you can expect these DNA strands to shorten.
Now, why do cells still get some DNA left after all the division that they go through? This is where the role of telomeres comes in. When it comes to telomeres, they have a similar DNA sequence that is repeated time and time again, making them somehow disposable after all this repetition. They play a role in ensuring that the rest of the DNA does not get damaged. They function by not losing any other crucial genetic information even if they gradually get shorter over time.
With the role of telomeres, when they shorten, they can be a factor that associates with the aging of cells. By the time your telomeres get too short, your cells will not be able to divide as effectively. If they reach a crucial point, the cell now becomes inactive that either make them accumulate damage they can’t fix or they simply die.