Nobel laureate, new technologies show how cancer cells protect chromosomes from decay

Thursday, August 18, 2016 - 17:51 in Health & Medicine

Protective telomeres are augmented by freely diffusing telomerase. As the rope of a chromosomes replicates, it frays at the ends. No problem: A chromosome's ends have extra twine so that fraying doesn't reach into the body of the rope where the important information resides. This extra twine is called a "telomere". Over time and across replications, this telomere twine breaks down until the chromosome loses its protective ends and this "fraying" reaches into the rope, wrecking the chromosome and resulting in the death of the cell.

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