Telomeres explained: role in genomic stability, stem cells, replicative senescence | Elissa Epel

Parent Episode: Dr. Elissa Epel on Telomeres and the Role of Stress Biology in Cellular Aging

Telomeres have been likened to aglets – the little plastic caps on the ends of shoestrings that prevent the string from fraying – and it's a good analogy. Telomeres are distinctive structures comprised of short, repetitive sequences of DNA present on the ends of chromosomes. They protect the genome from damage during regular cell division or under conditions of physiological or emotional stress. Over time, however, telomeres shorten. Telomerase, an enzyme that helps rebuild telomeres, is an important determinant of how long a cell can divide. In this clip, Dr. Elissa Epel gives a brief overview of telomeres and telomerase and explains how they impact health and lifespan.

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