Researchers have recently elucidated the 3-dimentional structure of telomerase, a molecule that plays a key role in such important areas as cancer, aging/longevity, immunology, and stem cells.
Each chromosome (containing a unit of the genome) has a telomere at each of its ends. Telomere, a stretch of DNA, protects the integrity and stability of the genome. A piece of telomere is “clipped” off each time a cell divides. Telomerase is the enzyme that makes more telomere to replenish the shortfall. When a person reaches adulthood, telomerase becomes inactive in most somatic cells (non-sex cells). Consequently, cells stop dividing and regeneration, and ... Read more