Born to age?

The Checkup
Copyright 2010
Wednesday, February 10, 2010; 6:10 AM

Are some people just born to age faster than others? A new study suggests that might be the case. Nilesh Samani of the University of Leicester in Britain and colleagues analyzed more than 500,000 variations in nearly 3,000 people's genes and found that those with a certain variation near a gene called TERC tended to have shorter "telomeres." Telomeres are molecular structures at the ends of chromosomes, which carry genes inside cells. Telomeres are often likened to the plastic tips at the ends of shoelaces that keep them from unraveling. Every time a cell divides, the telomeres get a little shorter. The shorter the telomeres, the faster cells are believed to age. They are therefore considered markers for aging. The new finding indicates that some people are born with genes that make them predisposed to the diseases of aging, essentially making them age more quickly than other people. In the


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