Here at SCHILLER Australia, we have some fantastic news! You may not be as old as your birth certificate says you are…
Now, we are no experts in chromosomes, telomeres and enzymes, but according to a recent article, such topics may well be working in your favour.
According to MedGadget:
“In 2009, the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded to three scientists for the discover of how chromosomes are protected by telomeres and the enzyme telomerase. Today, telomeres, stretches of DNA at the ends of chromosomes, are used as part of a new, commercially available genetic test that helps individuals better understand how well they are aging.”
So, the new answer for the age old ‘how old are you?’ question should now be phrased in terms of ‘TeloYears’, a term coined by Telomere Diagnostics (TDx).
TDx is a molecular testing company that was founded in 2010 and whom is now responsible for a TeloYears test which works a little like this:
“TeloYears is easy to use, requiring a blood sample to be sent to TDx’s laboratory where telomeres in white blood cells are evaluated and summarized in a report sent back to the test-taker. Unlike other genetic tests, TeloYears is based on a biomarker that changes over time, allowing an individual to make behavior and lifestyle changes based on their results.”
What exactly are telomeres??
To understand the test, one must have a basic understanding of precisely what telomeres are:
“Telomeres are the changing, protective caps on the ends of our DNA strands that tend to shorten and fray with age, and grow or shrink with positive or negative lifestyle factors. Imagine our DNA as a long spiral ladder with millions of rungs. Our telomeres are the last few thousand rungs on the ends of the ladder that keep it from “unzipping” as cells divide and thus protect our genes, which are made up of long stretches of rungs in the middle. Technically speaking, telomeres are repetitive stretches of the nucleotide base pair sequence TTAGGG at the ends of our chromosomes. When we are born, our telomeres are typically at their longest. However, throughout our lives the telomeres shorten. At every cell division, telomeres lose a bit of their DNA until, over time, the cell cannot replicate and becomes “senescent,” which is the cellular equivalent of aging. However, telomeres allow a real-time measurement that can be used to reinforce lifestyle changes that are associated with slowing and even reversing cellular aging. Telomere Diagnostics developed TeloYears, a simple DNA test that tracks cellular age based on telomere length. The test can be repeated over time to see how a patient’s lifestyle plans (e.g. diet, exercise and stress management) are working to improve functioning on a cellular level.”
So, are you interested enough to find out how old you really are? Read more about the TeloYears test here.