What Is a Telomere?

Read Transcript

[SOUND] The telomeres are these long strings of DNA repeating sequences of base pairs, that wind up and protect the ends of the chromosomes. And turns out that thee telomeres are sensing danger around them in the cell environment and so if there are biochemical signals and messengers, if there're stress around then that actually causes damage to the telomere shortening when it's chronic.

In the short run, it actually probably beats up the protective system around it. So, for example, we know that under acute stress, the enzyme that protects the [UNKNOWN], the telomere goes up during acute stress, it appears to want to defend that cell from stressful chemical and damage.

[MUSIC] [MUSIC].