Why We Age: Telomere Attrition
Telomeres are DNA regions located at the ends of a chromosome. Their normal length is 8-10 thousand base pairs, yet they consist of repetitions of a single sequence: TTAGGG. Telomeres do not code for proteins, but they protect chromosomes from erroneously bonding with different molecules and with each other. Telomere attrition limits the number of times our somatic cells can divide, slowly leading to dwindling populations of cells in vital organs.