TelomerasePaper - Shweta Patro Biology Homework Assignment:...

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Shweta Patro Biology Homework Assignment: Review of Elizabeth Blackburn’s Telomere/Telomerase Talk Due: 2/10/10 Elizabeth Blackburn is a professor at the University of California San Francisco. The goal of her research is to find out more about telomeres and telomerase. In the talk she gives at a UCSF Mini- Medical School Program, Blackburn covers many topics related to her field of research. She first gives a general framework for aging by mentioning trends in major studies. Then, she explains how telomeres and their control mechanisms work. Lastly, she shows the implications of telomeres and their regulation (telomerase) in the human body in terms of cancer and aging. Select groups of people live a very long time, usually over 85 years. In many studies, it has been shown that people who live very long are not affected by many major age-related diseases (namely, cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes). Scientists want to know what makes these people immune to all the major killers, and what helps them live so long, and how humans age in general. Aging is a complex process with multiple facets. There are many factors that play a role in how fast one ages and whether health is maintained through aging. The factors include environmental ones as well as genetic ones. A study revealed more about the associations between environmental and genetic factors and aging. A study of 5000 adult blood-related daughters of European royal families was done. It showed the unique associations between aging and genetics. This group was picked for the study because these families are fairly homogeneous in terms of race and genes, there is not a lot of intermarriage with other groups, they keep very good records, and the mortality rates in general are very low). The results of the study showed that longevity runs in families, but shorter life span does not. In families where the mother or father (or both) lived to be above 85, the daughter lives very long as well. But in families where the mother or father lives to a more typical age, there is no correlation between the age of the parents and that of the children. This means that there is an association between a long life and genetics, but for a normal life, environmental factors play a bigger role. Most aging (80-90%) is not dependent on genetics. This must mean that other factors may contribute to aging.
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This note was uploaded on 01/18/2012 for the course ECON 101 taught by Professor Sei during the Spring '11 term at American Academy of Art.

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TelomerasePaper - Shweta Patro Biology Homework Assignment:...

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