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Thread: telomere's role in Age dermination of a person

  1. #1 telomere's role in Age dermination of a person 
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    can anybody explain in simple terms


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    Brassica oleracea Strange's Avatar
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    Telemores are protective "caps" of DNA at the end of each chromosome. Each time the chromosome is copied (e.g. when a cell divides) it can get a bit shorter. The telomeres prevent this from damaging the bulk of the cromosome. As a result the telomeres get shorter with age. They can thus be used to give some idea of the age of an individual (I'm not sure how accurate this is as telemores can get longer or be reset as well).


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    Basically when replicating DNA, an RNA primer latches on to a strand of DNA in order to set up a 5-3' system. After most of the DNA is replicated, DNA polymerase takes away the RNA primers and fills it in with DNA. However, it is impossible to fill in the RNA primer at the end of DNA segments because DNA can only be replicated from 5' to 3'. Thus telomeres can help solve the problem of some DNA not getting replicated because telomeres are non-coding segments that are placed at the end of chromosomes. After each cell cycle, telomeres will get shorter but there is no harm to the coding regions of DNA until there is no more telomere segment left.

    By the way, interesting fact, 90 percent of cancer cells have fully active telomeres.
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