Recently there has been an extensive amount of research into something called telomere, which is a short sequence of base pairs (DNA’s) that are found at the end of chromosomes. This short sequence repeats itself approximately 50-70 times and can be found at the end of the chromosomes found in human cells. There has been a push to isolate them on a person’s leukocytes because they are easy to isolate and locate within the body of these research subjects, but these can be found in other cells.
The proposal as to the function of telomeres is that they were a timepiece for each person; which means that a telomere would drop off at predetermined intervals (maybe 1-2 yrs) and eventually when the telomeres ran out, the cell would either die or undergo the apoptosis process. The telomeres would fall off when the cell produced an enzyme called telomerase. Thus, researchers became fascinated by what appeared to be a biochemical process in direct control of cellular life and death, and that could potentially be in control of death of an organism such as a human.
If you can imagine that these scientists were science fiction writers, they would be dreaming about laboratories throughout the world that could assist their patients to live up to 150 years of age or even longer. The potential for some kind of mediation allowing a person to live longer does appear to be a reality, but possibly not to the extent that many imagine.
- Read the paragraphs above.
- Answer the following questions as thoroughly and concisely as possible:
- From the list of aging theories above (Stochastic & Non-Stochastic Theories), where would you categorize the “telomere aging theory”? Would it be a Stochastic or Non-Stochastic theory?
- Please provide a rationale as to your selection.