For Stem Cells to Be Healthy, Telomere Length Has to Be Just Right

Ever since researchers connected the shortening of telomeres–the protective structures on the ends of chromosomes–to ageing and disease, the race has been on to understand the factors that govern telomere length.

Now, scientists at the Salk Institute have found that a balance of elongation and trimming in stem cells results in telomeres that are, as Goldilocks would say, not too short and not too long, but just right.

The finding, which appears in the December, 2016, issue of Nature Structural & Molecular Biology, deepens our understanding of stem cell biology and could help advance stem cell-based therapies, especially related to ageing and regenerative medicine.

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