Why Do Telomeres Get Shorter When Cells Divide?

Why Do Chromosomes Have Telomeres?

Before a cell can divide, it makes copies of its chromosomes so that both new cells will have identical genetic material. To be copied, a chromosome’s two DNA strands must unwind and separate. An enzyme (DNA polymerase) then reads the existing strands to build two new strands. It begins the process with the help of short pieces of RNA.

When each new matching strand is complete, it is a bit shorter than the original strand because of the room needed at the end for this small piece of RNA. It is like someone who paints himself into a corner and cannot paint the corner.

Source: http://learn.genetics.utah.edu/

Dr Bill Andrews – why telomeres shorten when cells divide

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Katherine Baltazar

I am a media reporter writing for the Hair, Beauty and Spa Industry. I've been writing and covering salons, beauty products and hair treatments for the pace 5 years.