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Telomerase
Telomerase, also called terminal transferase, is a ribonucleoprotein that adds a species-dependent telomere repeat sequence to the 3' end of telomeres. A telomere is a region of repetitive sequences at each end of the chromosomes of most eukaryotes. Telomeres protect the end of the chromosome from DNA damage or from fusion with neighbouring chromosomes. The fruit fly ''Drosophila melanogaster'' lacks telomerase, but instead uses retrotransposons to maintain telomeres. Telomerase is a reverse transcriptase enzyme that carries its own RNA molecule (e.g., with the sequence 3′- CCC AA UCCC-5′ in ''Trypanosoma brucei'') which is used as a template when it elongates telomeres. Telomerase is active in gametes and most cancer cells, but is normally absent from, or at very low levels in, most somatic cells. History The existence of a compensatory mechanism for telomere shortening was first found by Soviet biologist Alexey Olovnikov in 1973, who also suggested the telomere hypoth ...
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Telomerase Illustration
Telomerase, also called terminal transferase, is a ribonucleoprotein that adds a species-dependent telomere repeat sequence to the 3' end of telomeres. A telomere is a region of repetitive sequences at each end of the chromosomes of most eukaryotes. Telomeres protect the end of the chromosome from DNA damage or from fusion with neighbouring chromosomes. The fruit fly ''Drosophila melanogaster'' lacks telomerase, but instead uses retrotransposons to maintain telomeres. Telomerase is a reverse transcriptase enzyme that carries its own RNA molecule (e.g., with the sequence 3′- CCC AA UCCC-5′ in ''Trypanosoma brucei'') which is used as a template when it elongates telomeres. Telomerase is active in gametes and most cancer cells, but is normally absent from, or at very low levels in, most somatic cells. History The existence of a compensatory mechanism for telomere shortening was first found by Soviet biologist Alexey Olovnikov in 1973, who also suggested the telomere hypoth ...
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Telomerase RNA Component
Telomerase RNA component, also known as TR, TER or TERC, is an ncRNA found in eukaryotes that is a component of telomerase, the enzyme used to extend telomeres. TERC serves as a template for telomere replication (reverse transcription) by telomerase. Telomerase RNAs differ greatly in sequence and structure between vertebrates, ciliates and yeasts, but they share a 5' pseudoknot structure close to the template sequence. The vertebrate telomerase RNAs have a 3' H/ACA snoRNA-like domain. Structure TERC is a Long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) ranging in length from ~150nt in ciliates to 400-600nt in vertebrates, and 1,300nt in yeast (Alnafakh). Mature human TERC (hTR) is 451nt in length. TERC has extensive secondary structural features over 4 principal conserved domains. The core domain, the largest domain at the 5’ end of TERC, contains the CUAAC Telomere template sequence. Its secondary structure consists of a large loop containing the template sequence, a P1 loop-closing he ...
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Elizabeth Blackburn
Elizabeth Helen Blackburn, (born 26 November 1948) is an Australian-American Nobel laureate who is the former president of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. Previously she was a biological researcher at the University of California, San Francisco, who studied the telomere, a structure at the end of chromosomes that protects the chromosome. In 1984, Blackburn co-discovered telomerase, the enzyme that replenishes the telomere, with Carol W. Greider. For this work, she was awarded the 2009 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, sharing it with Greider and Jack W. Szostak, becoming the first Australian woman Nobel laureate. She also worked in medical ethics, and was controversially dismissed from the Bush administration's President's Council on Bioethics. Early life and education Elizabeth Helen Blackburn, one of seven children, was born in Hobart, Tasmania, on 26 November 1948 to parents who were both family physicians. Her family moved to the city of Launceston ...
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Telomere
A telomere (; ) is a region of repetitive nucleotide sequences associated with specialized proteins at the ends of linear chromosomes. Although there are different architectures, telomeres, in a broad sense, are a widespread genetic feature most commonly found in eukaryotes. In most, if not all species possessing them, they protect the terminal regions of chromosomal DNA from progressive degradation and ensure the integrity of linear chromosomes by preventing DNA repair systems from mistaking the very ends of the DNA strand for a double-strand break. Discovery In the early 1970s, Soviet theorist Alexei Olovnikov first recognized that chromosomes could not completely replicate their ends; this is known as the "end replication problem". Building on this, and accommodating Leonard Hayflick's idea of limited somatic cell division, Olovnikov suggested that DNA sequences are lost every time a cell replicates until the loss reaches a critical level, at which point cell division e ...
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Telomere
A telomere (; ) is a region of repetitive nucleotide sequences associated with specialized proteins at the ends of linear chromosomes. Although there are different architectures, telomeres, in a broad sense, are a widespread genetic feature most commonly found in eukaryotes. In most, if not all species possessing them, they protect the terminal regions of chromosomal DNA from progressive degradation and ensure the integrity of linear chromosomes by preventing DNA repair systems from mistaking the very ends of the DNA strand for a double-strand break. Discovery In the early 1970s, Soviet theorist Alexei Olovnikov first recognized that chromosomes could not completely replicate their ends; this is known as the "end replication problem". Building on this, and accommodating Leonard Hayflick's idea of limited somatic cell division, Olovnikov suggested that DNA sequences are lost every time a cell replicates until the loss reaches a critical level, at which point cell division e ...
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Aging
Ageing ( BE) or aging ( AE) is the process of becoming older. The term refers mainly to humans, many other animals, and fungi, whereas for example, bacteria, perennial plants and some simple animals are potentially biologically immortal. In a broader sense, ageing can refer to single cells within an organism which have ceased dividing, or to the population of a species. In humans, ageing represents the accumulation of changes in a human being over time and can encompass physical, psychological, and social changes. Reaction time, for example, may slow with age, while memories and general knowledge typically increase. Ageing increases the risk of human diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, stroke and many more. Of the roughly 150,000 people who die each day across the globe, about two-thirds die from age-related causes. Current ageing theories are assigned to the damage concept, whereby the accumulation of damage (such as DNA o ...
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Alexey Olovnikov
Alexey Matveyevich Olovnikov (russian: Алексей Матвеевич Оловников; 10 October 1936 in Vladivostok, Soviet Union – 6 December 2022 in Moscow, Russia) is a Russian biologist. In 1971, he was the first to recognize the problem of telomere shortening, to predict the existence of telomerase, and to suggest the telomere hypothesis of aging and the relationship of telomeres to cancer. Despite this discovery, he was not awarded a share of the 2009 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, awarded for the discovery of the enzyme and its biological significance. In 2009 he was awarded Demidov Prize of the Russian Academy of Sciences The Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS; russian: Росси́йская акаде́мия нау́к (РАН) ''Rossíyskaya akadémiya naúk'') consists of the national academy of Russia; a network of scientific research institutes from across t .... References WNYC RadioLab Episode on Mortality 1936 births Biogerontologists R ...
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Tetrahymena
''Tetrahymena'', a unicellular eukaryote, is a genus of free-living ciliates. The genus Tetrahymena is the most widely studied member of its phylum. It can produce, store and react with different types of hormones. Tetrahymena cells can recognize both related and hostile cells. They can also switch from commensalistic to pathogenic modes of survival. They are common in freshwater lakes, ponds, and streams. ''Tetrahymena'' species used as model organisms in biomedical research are ''T. thermophila'' and '' T. pyriformis''. ''T. thermophila'': a model organism in experimental biology As a ciliated protozoan, ''Tetrahymena thermophila'' exhibits nuclear dimorphism: two types of cell nuclei. They have a bigger, non-germline macronucleus and a small, germline micronucleus in each cell at the same time and these two carry out different functions with distinct cytological and biological properties. This unique versatility allows scientists to use ''Tetrahymena'' to identi ...
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Reverse Transcriptase
A reverse transcriptase (RT) is an enzyme used to generate complementary DNA (cDNA) from an RNA template, a process termed reverse transcription. Reverse transcriptases are used by viruses such as HIV and hepatitis B to replicate their genomes, by retrotransposon mobile genetic elements to proliferate within the host genome, and by eukaryotic cells to extend the telomeres at the ends of their linear chromosomes. Contrary to a widely held belief, the process does not violate the flows of genetic information as described by the classical central dogma, as transfers of information from RNA to DNA are explicitly held possible. Retroviral RT has three sequential biochemical activities: RNA-dependent DNA polymerase activity, ribonuclease H (RNase H), and DNA-dependent DNA polymerase activity. Collectively, these activities enable the enzyme to convert single-stranded RNA into double-stranded cDNA. In retroviruses and retrotransposons, this cDNA can then integrate into the host ...
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Ribonucleoprotein
Nucleoproteins are proteins conjugated with nucleic acids (either DNA or RNA). Typical nucleoproteins include ribosomes, nucleosomes and viral nucleocapsid proteins. Structures Nucleoproteins tend to be positively charged, facilitating interaction with the negatively charged nucleic acid chains. The tertiary structures and biological functions of many nucleoproteins are understood.Graeme K. Hunter G. K. (2000): Vital Forces. The discovery of the molecular basis of life. Academic Press, London 2000, . Important techniques for determining the structures of nucleoproteins include X-ray diffraction, nuclear magnetic resonance and cryo-electron microscopy. Viruses Virus genomes (either DNA or RNA) are extremely tightly packed into the viral capsid. Many viruses are therefore little more than an organised collection of nucleoproteins with their binding sites pointing inwards. Structurally characterised viral nucleoproteins include influenza, rabies, Ebola, Bunyamwera, Schmal ...
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Nobel Prize In Physiology Or Medicine
The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine is awarded yearly by the Nobel Assembly at the Karolinska Institute for outstanding discoveries in physiology or medicine. The Nobel Prize is not a single prize, but five separate prizes that, according to Alfred Nobel's 1895 will, are awarded "to those who, during the preceding year, have conferred the greatest benefit to humankind". Nobel Prizes are awarded in the fields of Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine, Literature, and Peace. The Nobel Prize is presented annually on the anniversary of Alfred Nobel's death, 10 December. As of 2022, 114 Nobel Prizes in Physiology or Medicine have been awarded to 226 laureates, 214 men and 12 women. The first one was awarded in 1901 to the German physiologist, Emil von Behring, for his work on serum therapy and the development of a vaccine against diphtheria Diphtheria is an infection caused by the bacterium '' Corynebacterium diphtheriae''. Most infections are asymptomatic or ha ...
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