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Study supports link between ageing, telomere length & cancer


Key points from article :

Study finds data to support - cells stop dividing with age to prevent cancer.

Telomeres are small DNA caps on the ends of our chromosomes protecting them from damage on division.

Some telomere is lost each time - damage adds up, telomeres shorten & cell stops dividing.

Lengthening our telomeres should help slow /reverse the ageing.

Genomes of several cancer prone Dutch families were studied.

Common among these patients were mutations TINF2 gene - codes for a protein linked to telomere length.

Human cells were engineered using CRISPR with the same mutations - had much longer telomeres.

The patients themselves also had long telomeres than usual.

"If born with long telomeres, you are at greater risk of getting cancer. The broad spectrum of cancers in these families shows the power of the telomere tumour suppressor pathway.” - Tita de Lange, lead researcher.

Research by Rockefeller University published in eLife.

Telomere shortening might be a protective measure to ward off cancers as we age

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Non-profit journal publishing work in all areas of biology and medicine


Private graduate university in New York City.


Director of Anderson Center for Cancer Research, the Leon Hess professor and the head of Laboratory Cell Biology and Genetics at Rockefeller University.[1]