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Theme 4 Applied Lecture #1

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BIOLOGY 1A03 Theme 4 Applied Lecture #1
November 6, 2015
Gabriel Kuper
Telomeres and Immortality
Telomerase
 Expressed in germ cells, embryonic stem cells, cancer cells (most cells do not make
telomerase)
Visualizing Telomeres
 Tagging the chromosomes with
fluorescence
 Electrophoresis
Cells That Express Telomerase
 Germ cells
 Embryonic stem cells
 Cancer cells
Hayflick limit - Adult cells in our body can divide 40-50 times but eventually stop due to the
threshold that is met where we lose integrity of the genome (possibly attributed to the
telomeres)
Tissue homeostasis – generate new cells at the same rate that cells are lost
Note: There are different pools of stem cells throughout our body for each type of tissue
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Association Between Age and Telomere length
Premature Aging
 Progeria (premature aging
diseases)
 Linked to having shorter telomeres
Telomerase Gene Therapy
 Mice that were injected with telomerase had an increased lifespan by 20%
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