Friday, February 17, 2012

Idea & Innovation: Nobel laureate Elizabeth Blackburn unlocks cells' aging secrets

Elizabeth Blackburn wants to help you read the warning signs that might be right on the tip of your chromosomes.
Blackburn, a professor at the University of California, San Francisco and Nobel laureate, essentially wrote the book on telomeres — DNA structures that cap human chromosomes and protect the genetic code from damage. These telomeres look much like antennas. Shorter telomeres, research suggests, could mean you’re at risk for diseases such as cancer and diabetes, and longer telomeres may be associated with longevity.
Now the Menlo Park company she co-founded, Telome Health Inc., is poised to offer a simple test to show how your telomeres are holding up.

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