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17 April 2014 12:48 pm ,
Vol. 344 ,
Officials last week revealed that the U.S. contribution to ITER could cost $3.9 billion by 2034—roughly four times the...
An experimental hepatitis B drug that looked safe in animal trials tragically killed five of 15 patients in 1993. Now,...
Using the two high-quality genomes that exist for Neandertals and Denisovans, researchers find clues to gene activity...
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that humanity has done little to slow...
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a red dwarf—a star cooler than the sun—500...
Three years ago, Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University proposed that a warming Arctic was altering the behavior of the...
- 17 April 2014 12:48 pm , Vol. 344 , #6181
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ScienceShot: Short Chromosomes Linked to Fatigue in Elderly
30 November 2011 4:45 pm
Short of breath? Short chromosomes may be to blame. A new study of elderly twins finds that those with longer DNA than their siblings retained more strength and physical endurance past age 70. Those with the longest chromosomes compared to their twin showed the biggest advantage in self-reported ability to climb stairs, run, and lift weights. Chromosomes shrink naturally with age as cell division chips away tiny DNA fragments from the tips of chromosomes, called telomeres. Genetics may determine telomere lengths at birth, but each person loses DNA at a different rate. Environmental risks such as smoking and stress appear to accelerate the process. Previous studies have linked shorter telomeres with age-related diseases and mortality. The new work, published in an upcoming issue of Mechanisms of Ageing and Development, suggests that telomere length tracks the subtle decline of fitness with age—well before disease strikes. Whether telomere shrinkage causes or merely reflects bodily aging, however, remains a mystery.
See more ScienceShots.