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What controls the tips of our chromosomes? -- ScienceDaily

The researchers also showed that this process is identical both in yeast and in human cells. This means that the regulation of the "S" component has been conserved throughout evolution of species, which somehow reveals the importance of this process for the correct functioning of cells. This opens new avenues to the discovery of therapies capable of dealing with debilitating diseases associated to defects in telomeres. "The unanticipated role of this evolutionary conserved phosphatase is reminiscent of the regulation of the cell cycle by phosphatases that counteract the role of kinases, thus re-establishing the ground state of 'once and only once' cell cycle processes," says the investigator Miguel Godinho Ferreira. "With this work, we now understand better how telomere regulation works, a key process in cancer and ageing," says Jose Escandell, first author of the publication.

Scientists see inner workings of enzyme telomerase, which plays key roles in aging, cancer: Detailed view of its core may lead to development of targeted drugs -- ScienceDaily

"We're now seeing not just the face of the clock, we're seeing how the components inside interact to make it work," said Juli Feigon, a professor of chemistry and biochemistry in the UCLA College and a senior author of the study. "At each step, we zoom in closer and see more and more details, and can now begin to deduce not just what the enzyme looks like, but also how it functions. Knowing that may lead to the development of new drugs that target specific parts of the enzyme."

Exercise lengthens telomeres

xercise science professor Larry Tucker found adults with high physical activity levels have telomeres with a biological aging advantage of nine years over those who are sedentary, and a seven-year advantage compared to those who are moderately active. To be highly active, women had to engage in 30 minutes of jogging per day (40 minutes for men), five days a week. “If you want to see a real difference in slowing your biological aging, it appears that a little exercise won’t cut it,” Tucker said. “You have to work out regularly at high levels.” Tucker analyzed data from 5,823 adults who participated in the CDC’s National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, one of the few indexes that includes telomere length values for study subjects. The index also includes data for 62 activities participants might have engaged in over a 30-day window, which Tucker analyzed to calculate levels of physical activity.

Male hormone reverses cell aging in clinical trial

"In a healthy adult, telomere length varies from 7,000 to 9,000 base pairs on average. A normal person's telomeres lose 50 to 60 base pairs per year, but a patient with telomerase deficiency can lose between 100 and 300 base pairs per year," Calado said. "In the patients who received danazol, telomere length increased by 386 base pairs on average over two years."

Could meditation really help slow the ageing process?

When the researchers crunched the data they found that the meditators’ telomeres were significantly longer than those of the controls, by an average of 10%. They then used a statistical technique called regression analysis to get an idea which factors might be directly responsible for this apparent slowing of cellular ageing. Many psychological traits were associated with having longer telomeres, including greater mindfulness skills, life satisfaction and subjective happiness. But the statistical analysis suggested that only younger age, low “experiential avoidance” and high self-compassion were directly responsible for longer telomeres.

Having more children slows down aging process -- ScienceDaily

"The slower pace of telomere shortening found in the study participants who have more children however, may be attributed to the dramatic increase in estrogen, a hormone produced during pregnancy," says Nepomnaschy who also spearheads the Maternal and Child Health Laboratory at the SFU Faculty of Health Sciences. "Estrogen functions as a potent antioxidant that protects cells against telomere shortening."