Telomeres predict lifespan in Zebra Finches, Neural proteins a lynchpin in neurodegenerative disease

Two bits of news out in the past few days. Although the theory that telomeres (the tips of chromosomes) play a role in organismal aging has taken hits in the past decade, a paper out in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences presents evidence that telomere length in early life reliably predicted lifespan in a population in zebra finches. Popular science article.

Scientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies have discovered a neural protein that appears never to be replaced. In the rats they studied, these transport proteins appear to be as old as the rats themselves. The discovery has led the investigator to hypothesize that damage to the proteins may lead to aging and neurodegeneration. Read the popular science article here.

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