Who hasn’t at one point or another enjoyed the guilty pleasure of a film about a perhaps misunderstood brooding bloodsucker giving into the temptation of a certain substance flowing through the veins of a ridiculously attractive nubile victim. Well, new research suggests maybe vampires had it right all along, a regular dose of youthful blood and you can be young and forever beautiful.
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Researchers at Harvard University recently released their results from an experiment testing an enzyme on mice to effectively arrest aging. What they discovered was profound.
First a bit of biology 101. The nucleus is sort of like the administrative center of the cell. It is protected by a porous double plasma membrane. Within the nucleus we find the chromosomes which contain our DNA. The genes within the DNA hold the recipe for everything that makes us. The ends of the chromosomes are protected by end caps known as telomeres, these caps function sort of like the plastic tips on your shoe laces. Every time a cell divides the telomeres get shorter, in effect the cell gets older and after several divisions (Hayflick Limit) the cell dies before the telomeres completely run out. This prevents damage to the genes and the possibility of passing on mutated information.