December 11, 2014
In the hunt for better knowledge on the aging process, researchers have now enlisted the help of small birds. A new study investigates various factors which affect whether chicks are born with long or short chromosome ends, called telomeres.
The genetic make-up of our cells consists of genes lined up on chromosomes. The ends of the chromosomes are called telomeres, and they protect the chromosomes from sticking to each other. The longer the telomeres, the longer the chromosomes are able to function. And conversely, the shorter these ends, the less time left for the chromosomes, and thereby also the cells, to be in working condition. More knowledge of telomeres can therefore be valuable in understanding the aging process in humans and other animals.