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Telomeres are at the end of the chromosomes and get shorter with every cell division, since the lagging strand is missing a start point for the DNA polymerase. This limits the number of cell divisions to 40 to 60 before the cells go into senescence and stop dividing (they are not dying at this point). This phenomenon is called the "Hayflick limit". Cell ...


In some types of cancer cells, an enzyme called telomerase can actually rebuild the telomeres, making a cell appear "younger" than it actually is and preventing it from senescing (reaches a point where it stops dividing). Telomerase, a eukaryotic ribonucleoprotein (RNP) complex, helps to stabilize telomere length in human stem cells, reproductive cells ...

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