Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Telomeres: Size matters when it comes to DNA

Date:
June 15, 2010
Source:
University of Leicester
Summary:
A new study is examining a sequence of DNA -- known as telomeres -- that varies in length between individual.

A new study at the University of Leicester is examining a sequence of DNA -- known as telomeres -- that varies in length between individual.

Related Articles


This follows evidence that these structures shrink in length over an individual's lifetime and that this may contribute to several diseases including those commonly associated with ageing and, perhaps most importantly, the development of cancer.

Now the study is trying to understand how this process is controlled.

Jonathan Williams, from the Department of Genetics, is conducting postgraduate research into this field. He said: "DNA in human cells is arranged into 46 linear structures known as chromosomes. The ends of these molecules are particularly prone to damage from the environment inside the cell, and thus have special structures to protect them, termed telomeres.

"Telomeres consist of repeating pieces of DNA that vary in length between individuals. Important research over a number of years has shown that these structures shrink in length over an individual's lifetime and that this may contribute to several diseases.

Telomere shortening can be reversed in two specific ways:

  • a protein termed telomerase can directly add new DNA to the end of telomeres.
  • The second method is much less understood but most likely involves the copying of information from one telomere to another.

Said Mr Williams: "One of these methods must be activated during cancer development. The mechanisms controlling telomere length and the pathways reversing shortening largely remain a mystery.

"Now we are studying the ways in which changes to the chemical structure of DNA itself may control the lengthening of telomeres.

"Although these studies remain in their early stages it is hoped that the results may provide a better understanding of how the maintenance of telomeres is controlled, perhaps allowing for more targeted therapies for telomere associated disease in the future. "


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Leicester. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Leicester. "Telomeres: Size matters when it comes to DNA." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 June 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100609102056.htm>.
University of Leicester. (2010, June 15). Telomeres: Size matters when it comes to DNA. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100609102056.htm
University of Leicester. "Telomeres: Size matters when it comes to DNA." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100609102056.htm (accessed December 20, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) It's hard to resist those delicious but fattening carbs we all crave during the winter months, but there are some ways to stay satisfied without consuming the extra calories. Vanessa Freeman (@VanessaFreeTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) More than 100 motorcyclists hit the road to spread awareness messages about Ebola. Nearly 7,000 people have now died from the virus, almost all of them in west Africa, according to the World Health Organization. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) A double-amputee makes history by becoming the first person to wear and operate two prosthetic arms using only his mind. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins