Genetics of AgingGAMBIER, Ohio (February 21, 2007) According to the February/March issue of National Wildlife magazine, the work of Kenyon biology professor Mark Haussmann may lead to insights that will help stave off some of aging's most devastating effects.
Research conducted by Haussmann, Kenyon students, and biology professor Robert Mauck involves extracting DNA from a sea bird, Leach's storm petrel, and eventually isolating telomeres, sheaths at the ends of chromosomes that protect genetic information from damage. Some scientists have speculated that telomerase, a protein which elongates telomeres, could yield therapies that lengthen the human life span. "I don't think we'll be able to take a telomerase pill to extend our lives," Haussmann is quoted as saying in National Wildlife. "But by understanding how these mechanisms work, it could lead to therapies that inhibit tumor-cell growth."
Robert Mauck and former student Jenny Glazer