Spanish scientists have found that life expectancy depends on certain types of chromosomes.
What are chromosomes?
A chromosome is a special structure in the cell nucleus which contains genetic information. The basis of a chromosome is the DNA which provides storage, transfer and implementation of genetic information. The chromosome is distinguishable only during cell fission. Self-doubling and distribution of chromosomes in child cells transmits genetic information.
The chromosome consists of two rod-like little bodies – chromatid. Chromosomes have a centromere, two telomeres and two shoulders. Centromere is a junction of chromatids, and the tail part of the chromosome is called telomeres. Telomere protects the genetic material from damages.
The essence of the research
A research was conducted on mice where scientists took several blood samples. The scientists studied the cells and measured the telomere of the chromosomes. The result showed that mice that had telomere did not live longer as was considered earlier.
Having obtained good results in using the mice, the authors believe that the method of assessing shortened telomere can be used to predict life expectancy. Though the length of a telomere in mice is more than in humans, the rate of shortening is 100 times higher. Thus, the theory that the mice do not age when the chromosomes are shortened is wrong.