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Miami Dade College What Is a Telomere Essay

Miami Dade College What Is a Telomere Essay

Miami Dade College What Is a Telomere Essay


Chapter 3

Recentlythere has been an extensive amount of research into something calledtelomere, which is a short sequence of base pairs (DNA’s) that are foundat the end of chromosomes. This short sequence repeats itselfapproximately 50-70 times and can be found at the end of the chromosomesfound in human cells. There has been a push to isolate them on aperson’s leukocytes because they are easy to isolate and locate withinthe body of these research subjects, but these can be found in othercells.

Theproposal as to the function of telomeres is that they were a timepiecefor each person; which means that a telomere would drop off atpredetermined intervals (maybe 1-2 yrs) and eventually when thetelomeres ran out, the cell would either die or undergo theapoptosis process. The telomeres would fall off when the cell producedan enzyme called telomerase. Thus, researchers became fascinated bywhat appeared to be a biochemical process in direct control of cellularlife and death, and that could potentially be in control of death of anorganism such as a human.

Ifyou can imagine that these scientists were science fiction writers,they would be dreaming about laboratories throughout the world thatcould assist their patients to live up to 150 years of age or evenlonger. The potential for some kind of mediation allowing a person tolive longer does appear to be a reality, but possibly not to the extentthat many imagine.

Stochastic Theories

  • Free Radical Theory
  • Orgel/Error Theory
  • Wear and Tear Theory
  • Connective Tissue Theory

Non-Stochastic Theories

  • Programmed Theory
  • Gene/Biological Clock Theory
  • Neuroendocrine Theory
  • Immunologic/Autoimmune Theory


  1. Read the paragraphs above.
  2. Answer the following questions as thoroughly and concisely as possible:
    1. Fromthe list of aging theories above (Stochastic &Non-Stochastic Theories), where would you categorize the “telomere agingtheory”? Would it be a Stochastic or Non-Stochastic theory?
    2. Please provide a rationale as to your selection.

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