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Q: The end of the human chromosome ( Answered,   1 Comment )
Subject: The end of the human chromosome
Category: Science > Biology
Asked by: charlieman-ga
List Price: $10.00
Posted: 19 Jun 2002 05:11 PDT
Expires: 26 Jun 2002 05:11 PDT
Question ID: 29125
Hi - I cannot find any reference to a subject that I saw briefly on a
documentary.  It was about Tilamere's (correct spelling)??  which are
the end of the chromosome in humans and animals that appears to
control the ageing process.  Can anyone help me find further material
on this subject and advise at least of the correct spelling so that I
can get started.  Thanks very much.  Tory Richards
Subject: Re: The end of the human chromosome
Answered By: paul_b_18-ga on 19 Jun 2002 05:53 PDT

The subject you are referring to is spelled Telomere.

As you asked for places where you can find more information about
Telomeres, I will give you an overview of good websites which I have
found which give more detailed information about this subject. If you
have any further questions about this subject or if you want to know a
specific fact, please ask for a Clarification.

“Ageing chromosomes” by Eleanor Lawrence.

“Biology of Ageing: a Review” by Leonard Hayflick. University of

“Review of current research on telomeres and telomerase”

“The Process of Ageing”.

Two very good, in depth books about Telomere:

“The Telomere” by David Kipling and Rudyard Kipling.
You can find more information and also buy it here:

“Telomeres and Telomerase - Symposium No. 211” by Gail Cardew and
Derek Chadwick.
You can find more information and also buy it here:

I’ve also collected some pieces of general information about Telomere
for you:

“Telomere shortening: 
Human telomeres get shorter on average as a function of age. They are
elongated in sperms and are shorter in cells that senesce. It was
proposed that telomere shortening may be responsible for cell
senescence and is involved in ageing process. But no causal role is
proved in this theory. Evidence against theory of telomere shortening
being responsible for ageing is that: Telomere shortening in yeast
leads to death not the phenotype seen in mammalian cell senescence;
Also mouse telomeres are up to 10 times as long as that in human cells
and yet mouse cells senesce faster.”
Human Ageing

“Telomeres are specialized DNA-protein complex at ends of linear
chromosomes. They are essential for proper maintenance of chromosomes,
and may play a role in aging and cancer.” 

“Is longevity genetically determined?
Science does not have definite answers yet about how individual cells
age. It is a field that is still being studied intensively. But we do
know that longevity, at times, runs in certain families. This genetic
aspect of longevity has provided certain clues about why some people
live longer than others. At the core of every cell in our body is a
long chain of genetic material called DNA. At the end of each chunk
within this chain is a structure called telomere. With repeated
divisions of cell, telomeres get shorter and shorter and until very
recently telomere shortening was thought to be the cause of ageing. We
do know now of an enzyme within the cells, called telomerase, which
can " ..add a little extra DNA to the end of the chromosome and make
it a little longer.... and it can do that in very mature cells in our
Ageing -breaking mind barriers!

“Telomeres are specialized sequences of DNA that are found at the tips
of chromosomes. Telomeres serve as a kind of cap that prevents the
ends of chromosomes from attaching to the ends of other chromosomes.
Scientists suspect that telomeres may influence the activity of nearby
genes and may play a role in determining the life span of a cell.”

You can find even more links to websites dealing with Telomeres here:

Google search strategy:
Keywords: +Telomere +chromosome +ageing
URL: ://

I hope this answer is to your satisfaction. As I said, if you need any
more information, don’t hesitate to ask for a clarification!

Kind regards,
Subject: Re: your answer
From: hedgie-ga on 19 Jun 2002 08:21 PDT
That's a well researched answer and a great collections of links 
on a fascinating topic.

Since the asker forgot to rate this, so far,
 I  - just an  interested bystander  - would like to say: 
Thanks  for a job well done.

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