LOTS of scientists are in pursuit of finding a way to make humans live longer and one team thinks it’s made a DNA breakthrough.
The researchers focused on parts of DNA that are suspected to be tied to living longer.
Those parts are called telomeres and they work to try and protect genes from getting damaged.
According to a study published in the journal Nature, a new type of telomeric DNA structure has been discovered.
Telomeres are found at the end of each chromosome, which is a structure in each cell in our bodies.
Telomeres are coiled up in our cells but a team of scientists recently took a closer look and found a new structure holding them together.
Studying such small structures involved very powerful microscopes.
Tiny DNA strands were then pulled apart by magnets so scientists could take a closer look.
Knowing the structure of DNA inside our cells is important as each of our cells uses it to grow and repair.
If the process is better understood we could potentially find a way to keep repairing cells so they don’t die.
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This could eventually increase overall human longevity.
As well as helping fight aging, understanding DNA structure could also help us fight deadly diseases.
Mutations and mistakes in DNA can lead to cancer.
John van Noort from the Leiden Institute of Physics worked on the study.
He explained that structure is “the holy grail of molecular biology” and must be better understood.
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