Researchers at CNIO have created the first mice with hyper-long telomeres, proving that life can be extended without genetic modification.
Researchers at the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre CNIO were able to create the first mice with telomeres that were much longer than the norm for their species ten years earlier. Scientists, recognizing the link between telomeres, ageing, and telomere shortening, created mice with hyper-long telomeres in 100% of their cells. Nature Communications published the findings, which show that hyper-long telomeres are associated with better health and a longer lifespan. They also have fewer cancers and obesity. For the authors, the most important thing is that for the first ever time, longevity has been increased significantly without genetic modification.
This finding confirms that genes are not the sole factor to be considered when determining life expectancy\”, says Maria Blasco. She is the intellectual author and Head of the CNIO Telomeres and Telomerase Group. There is a margin to extend life without changing the genes.
In the nucleus, each cell of the body, telomeres are located at the end of the chromosomes. They protect the integrity and genetic information of DNA. The telomeres are shortened when cells divide, and this is one of the characteristics of aging. According to a paper published in Nature Communications, \”Telomeres shortening has been identified as one of the main causes of ageing. Short telomeres reduce longevity and age the organism\”.