How do telomeres affect cancer?

How do telomeres affect cancer?

Telomeres shorten as we age and the risk of cancer increases as we get older; here we explore some ways telomeres affect cancer risk. Cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide and with rates of many cancers increasing year on year, it is a priority research area in terms of improving understanding, diagnosis and […]

Telomeres and aging

Telomeres and aging blog

Telomere length is often considered a biological marker for aging and has been linked to cell lifespan, as well as certain diseases. Here we take a closer look at the relationship between telomeres and aging. What is a telomere? A telomere is a repetitive chain of DNA repeats found on the end of our chromosomes. […]

Why do telomeres shorten?

Why do telomeres shorten

Telomeres play an important role in protecting our chromosomes, but as we age, they decrease in length. In this blog we explore how and why telomeres shorten. Telomere structure Human telomeres are made up of thousands of repeats of the same DNA sequence (TTAGGG), bound by a special set of proteins called shelterin. They are […]

What are short telomeres?

What are short telomeres?

In this blog we examine what short telomeres are and what short telomere syndromes can mean for certain individuals.   What are telomeres for? Our chromosomes need to be protected to prevent damage, or them fusing with other chromosomes. Telomeres are the protective structures found on the end of chromosomes. They are made up of thousands […]

Why do we need telomeres?

Why do we need telomeres?

Over the past 30 years we have learned a lot about telomeres, including what they are and where they are found. In this blog we will discuss why exactly we need telomeres and the important processes that they have a role in. What are telomeres made of? Telomeres are repetitive DNA sequences found at the […]

Guest blog: Genetic Counselor Katie discusses important considerations when testing for a Telomere Biology Disorder

Katie Bergstrom, Genetic Counselor talks testing for telomere biology disorders

Katie Bergstrom, a Genetic Counselor based in Seattle, kindly shares a guest blog discussing some important considerations for both individuals and families when testing for Telomere Biology Disorders. Telomere biology disorders (TBDs) are hereditary conditions characterized by disorders related to telomere maintenance. You can learn more about TBDs in this dedicated blog. TBDs can be […]

What is telomerase?

What is telomerase?

Telomerase is an enzyme whose main function is the maintenance of telomeres. Here we examine what the purpose of telomerase is and the impact when it doesn’t work as it should. What is telomerase? Telomeres are the protective caps found at the end of our chromosomes and they act by preventing damage or fusion with […]