Why are clones lifespans shorter?
I’m a little confused, but I know that the telomeres in clones are shorter.
I don’t understand why a clone would gain the same length of telomeres as the aged animal it was cloned rather than just gaining the full length the animal had at birth.
So it’s not that cells divide more rapidly in clones, rather than the telomeres are shorter so there fewer times they are able to divide.
So what happens?
When the majority of cells reach this age the clone dies?
Can’t we stop this by using telomerase which is an enzyme that cancer uses to make more copies of itself by preventing telomere shortening?
Or would this just induce cancer by making the cells divide rapidly?
I don’t do biology or anything so please tell me if anything is completely wrong or is something seems obvious but I don’t know it. I’m just interested 🙂
you’ll get some better answers, but this will get you started.
– There is considerable benefit to a population aging, producing offspring, and dying out, thus freeing up space and resources for the offspring to do the same. That’s the process that makes evolution, and natural selection so successful. thus the fact that telomeres eventually run out is beneficial to the species.
– I believe that during division, the ends of DNA strands get messed up (that’s the high tech term) and break off. As long as it’s telomeres, there isn’t a problem. When it’s DNA that codes for actual proteins, or triggers, such that the cell no longer works correctly, then it’s a problem.
– For most cells, the body expects them to die off and be replaced. If you interrupt that process, there’s a very good chance that the results will not be beneficial.
– Your understanding of telomeres in clones is correct.
– You probably don’t want humans to get injected with telomerase because (A) it is unlikely to correct all of the cells, and (B) if it does, you’d interrupt the evolution process. That said, i have no doubt that at some point, someone will do exactly that. What that will do is completely mess up the way society works. It will not be a good thing.