Your cells might be aging faster than you are, and new tests purport to help you find out. A few companies are offering mail-order testing to measure the length of people’s telomeres.
The Telomeres and Telomerase Group at the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO), in collaboration with the Centre’s Transgenic Mice Core Unit, has succeeded in creating mice in the laboratory with hyper-long telomeres and with reduced molecular ageing, avoiding the use of what to date has been the standard method: genetic manipulation.
They have been dubbed the “fountain of youth”. Now scientists have shown that telomeres are also staging grounds for the deadliest skin cancers.
In a small study of men with early-stage prostate cancer, a program of rigorous diet and lifestyle change designed by prevention and wellness advocate increased telomere length, a finding the researcher says may indicate that people have more influence over the aging process than once thought.
A gene that plays a role in protecting telomeres might also be linked with obesity. Researchers have found that mice lacking this gene, RAP1, gain more weight, even if they do not eat more than their control counterparts.