Noteworthy Facts About Telomeres
These days, there are various reasons why testing using telomerase analysis technology (TAT) is becoming popular. 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 may be used as an individual biomarker or in combination with other biomarkers. Telomeres are very convenient biomarkers because you can get them from various body samples. 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. Aging is a normal life occurrence. To this day, many scientists are still puzzled over why people age and what causes aging. You can find plenty of theories about aging like oxidative stress damaging one’s DNA. Can you also put the blame on glucose? What about the cells of the body just all along following a biological timetable that is pre-programmed? Perhaps aging is caused by a combination of these factors and even more that people can’t seem to understand.
According to one theory, the natural aging process is associated with one’s telomeres. Your chromosomes are essentially composed of DNA molecules whose ends come with protective caps that you call telomeres. Their main role is to ensure that the ends of your chromosomes don’t end up sticking to each other or fraying.
Telomeres also play a crucial role in ensuring that a person’s DNA is properly copied when cells divide. Sadly, in the process of DNA replication, there are instances where a few of the DNA building blocks or nucleotides found at the end of the strand are not copied into the new DNA. This leads to the loss of some important genetic information. DNA strands naturally shorter with every division of the cells.
So, how come cells still have some DNA left after the division they’ve undergone? This is where the role of telomeres comes in. With telomeres, you are getting the same DNA sequence that is repeated all over, making them seem disposable in a sense. They play a role in ensuring that the rest of the DNA does not get damaged. As they get shorter over time, they will not be losing any crucial genetic information.
With the role of telomeres, when they shorten, they can be a factor that associates with the aging of cells. When telomeres become very short, cells cannot divide anymore. 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.