Healthy Lifestyles: Good for You and Your Telomeres Too

DNA in a test tubeWe all know that a healthy lifestyle (diet high in whole foods and low in fat, moderate exercise, managing stress and good social support) is good for us. In fact I will go so far as to say that it isn’t even news that these things help our health and well-being.  What is news, or at least newly published, is that these changes may also have a positive effect on telomerase activity and telomere length (1). Continue reading “Healthy Lifestyles: Good for You and Your Telomeres Too”

Calorie Restriction: The Fountain of Youth

Stories abound about the Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon, who back in the 15th century searched in vain for the Fountain of Youth in what is now Florida (with some historians stating that he was actually looking for a solution to his own sexual impotence). In recent times, the magician David Copperfield has stated that he owns the Fountain of Youth, which is located on his Bahamas property. Copperfield claims that his Fountain of Youth actually brings animals that are close to death back to life. Stories about fountains, trees, and fruit with properties of everlasting youth have been in existence since the Babylonians composed the Epic of Gilgamesh. In modern times, scientists have purported that there is another source of youth and prolonged life: calorie restriction. Continue reading “Calorie Restriction: The Fountain of Youth”

Stop Targeting Lasers on My Chromosomes!

The phases of the cell cycle, particularly that of mitosis, were taught in college as part of my studies in biology. The cell cycle is a fundamental process for all organisms and constantly happens within our bodies. While cells generally spend most of the time in interphase, many scientists focus on what happens as the cells prepare to divide from one cell into two. Mitosis, the part of the cell cycle that refers to cell division, is subject to extensive regulation to ensure all materials and genetic information are sound and ready to segregate correctly. If there is damage to the chromosomes, the cells will halt cell division. Continue reading “Stop Targeting Lasers on My Chromosomes!”