Marine & Environmental Sciences Faculty Articles

Title

Long telomeres of youth encourage optimism

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

6-4-2021

Publication Title

Journal of Experimental Biology

ISSN

1477-9145

Volume

224

Issue/No.

11

First Page

2

Last Page

3

Abstract

Optimism is a trait often associated with youth, with tough life experiences jading us towards pessimism as we age. The link between age and pessimism may originate from some of our smallest components: our chromosomes, which are capped by protective structures called telomeres. In humans and other animals, telomeres degrade as we age, increasing the risk of damage to the important genetic information that these caps defend, affecting an individual's health and lifespan. Anecdotal evidence also links age-related changes in behavior with telomere shortening, particularly greater pessimism. But whether this change is directly linked to activity down at the level of the telomere remains unclear. To better understand the link between telomeres and behavior, Felipe Espigares (Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência, Portugal) and colleagues from institutions in Portugal, Spain and France dug into these ideas with genetically altered zebrafish.

Comments

© 2021. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd

ORCID ID

0000-0001-8225-8344

DOI

10.1242/jeb.235424

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Peer Reviewed

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