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Scientists doubt that shortening chromosome ends accelerates aging

When observing a population of wild sheep on the Scottish island of Soei, molecular biologists have found that shortening telomeres, the ends of chromosomes, does not accelerate aging. The scientists’ conclusions were published in the scientific journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, TASS reports.
Scientists doubt that shortening chromosome ends accelerates aging

The latest research shows that telomere length fairly accurately reflects a person's age, as well as how long they will live. Stress, smoking, chronic illness and harsh living conditions accelerate telomere shortening. Therefore, the scientists dispute how telomere shortening relates to aging, that is, whether the first is the cause or effect of the second.

The biologists led by Daniel Nussey of the University of Edinburgh have answered this question in the new study. They have been observing the life of a unique population of feral sheep that live on the Scottish island of Soei. These animals were brought to the island in the Bronze Age. They quickly ran wild and returned to roughly the same living conditions. Subsequently, molecular biologists and geneticists began to actively study their genome. Some of these observations have been carried out over the past two decades. During this time, the scientists managed to follow the life of several hundred adult sheep and their offspring. In the course of these observations, the biologists collected samples of animal tissue, and also tracked the conditions in which they lived and because of what they died.

The data confirmed that as the animals aged, the telomere length did decrease and showed their typical lifespan. On the other hand, the scientists did not find any hints that the current length of the chromosome ends somehow influenced the probability of premature death of sheep at a particular point in time, and also showed that a significant part of the life of animals passed in unfavorable conditions.

Source: https://nauka.tass.ru/nauka/11074209

Photos are from open sources.

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