Telomeres have been a subject of scientific research for quite some time now. They are the structures that guard the tips of chromosomes. Scientists are of the view that the eventual condensing of these structures can explain the reason why cells age and die.
A recent study conducted by Austrian researchers reveals that people who have smaller telomeres are more prone to developing cancers. The study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
The scientists calculated the length of the telomeres in leukocytes of 787 people in the year 1995. They divided the people into three groups according to the length of their telomeres in the blood cells. These groups were longest, middle and shortest.
The researchers discovered that within the span of next ten years, 92 people were diagnosed with cancer. They found that threat of cancer was two times more in the middle-length group compared with the longest-length group.
The risk was three times more in the shortest-length group as compared to the longest-length group.
The researchers concluded that the chromosomes are kept stable by telomeres. They said that cancer is linked with reorganization of chromosomes, which results in some genes working more while the others not working at all.