April 14, 2015

100 Words -- Dharma Bummer

Ropes are multiple strands of hemp coiled around each other. DNA consists of two nucleotide strands coiled around each other. To prevent fraying in a rope, the ends are wrapped around with cording. To prevent fraying in DNA, the strands are capped with long sequences of non-functioning DNA called telomeres. Eventually any rope frays, and so does DNA. Each replication shortens the telomeres until the cell can no longer replicate itself, eventually resulting in cell death. Telomere shortening keeps cells from turning cancerous. It’s also what keeps us from living forever. You could call it the ultimate twist of fate.

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