Team:TAS Taipei


Revision as of 13:18, 7 March 2014 by Awesomesauce (Talk | contribs)

The Project

Our goal is to create a system by which we can regulate the enzyme telomerase, which in turn will control the length of telomeres in a cell.

Telomeres are repeating nucleotide sequences of TTAGGG at the ends of chromosomes, and serve as buffers against the shortening of chromosomes that occurs during cell replication. Telomere shortening takes place because during DNA replication, DNA is unable to copy at the end of the lagging strand (3'). The phenomenon of death has been largely associated with telomere shortening as once there are no telomeres, the cell cannot replicate itself anymore; in other words, the cell ages and dies. However, human DNA codes for the enzyme telomerase which is able to reestablish telomeres and therefore allow cells to replicate further and live longer. Cancer cells further confirm this theory as they possess large quantities of telomerase and hence a larger replication limit.

By manipulating the length of telomeres through regulating the enzyme telomerase, we can control the lifespan of human cells.