In a Thursday press release Life Length, a leading Spain-based biotechnology company specializing in the field of telomeres research technology, announced an agreement with Age Diagnostics Laboratories, Inc (“ADL”) to offer telomere testing nationwide in the US to both doctors and patients. This partnership will provide a location in the US where blood and tissue samples will be collected before being relayed to Life Length’s location in Europe for analysis.
Telome Health, Inc. (THINC), a biotechnology firm based in Menlo Park, CA has launched the beginning phase of a research study that will measure and analyze age-based average telomere lengths of Bay Area residents.
Mark Haussman and a team of researchers at Bucknell University have recently discovered that high prenatal stress levels during fetal development in chickens leaves offspring at a much greater risk for having oxidative damage, hyperactive stress responses, premature aging, and shorter telomere lengths later in life.
“People in their golden years are less likely to die within the next 5 years if their emotions are positive.” –ScienceNow
As it turns out, happiness is more than just a positive mood; it also leads to a longer life. Researchers at University College London (UCL) recently conducted a study showing that happier people are 35% less likely to die over the next five years than their less cheerful counterparts.
A March 2011 study conducted by Elissa Epel, PhD and Elizabeth Blackburn, PhD, among others, sought to discover the ways in which stress affects the human body. Specifically, Epel (UCSF) and Blackburn (UCSF) aimed to use previously studied biomarkers to determine how psychological stress and, conversely, psychological well-being, impact human lifespan, healthspan, and susceptibility to chronic illness. The human telomere was used as the biomarker, along with the enzyme that maintains and replenishes telomere lengths, telomerase.
The study is prefaced with the following: “The length of telomeres offers insight into mitotic cell and possibly organismal longevity. Telomere length has now been linked to chronic stress exposure and depression. This raises the question of how might cellular aging be modulated by psychological functioning.”
Seizing on this question, researchers at UC Davis conducted a study to find out how meditation impacts telomeres, and therefore how meditation and increased mindfulness influences human healthspan.