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Telomeres on Television

For a health segment on longevity, NBC's Today show spoke with researchers at Spectracell Laboratories, the only lab in the US that currently offers a test to assess one's telomere length. "Telomeres are structures on the tips of chromosomes that shorten as people age. Think of them like the plastic tips on a shoestring; people with shorter telomeres are more likely to develop illnesses and die earlier," NBC Chief Medical Editor Nancy Snyderman says. Snyderman also spoke with the Albert Einstein College of Medicine's Gil Atzmon, who told NBC that the science behind telomere extension has not yet caught up with people's hopes for it. "People think that it [telomere length] can serve as a biomarker for prediction of how long they're going to live," Atzmon told Synderman, adding that all predictions are subject to inaccuracies. "We don't have enough information to make it [telomere testing] accurate," Atzmon added. Even so, Synderman opted to purchase Spectracell's $290 test service, and to receive her telomere-length test results on air:


The Scan

Renewed Gain-of-Function Worries

The New York Times writes that the pandemic is renewing concerns about gain-of-function research.

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A trio of researchers has analyzed gender trends in biomedical patents issued between 1976 and 2010 in the US, New Scientist reports.

Other Uses

CBS Sunday Morning looks at how mRNA vaccine technology could be applied beyond SARS-CoV-2.

PLOS Papers Present Analysis of Cervicovaginal Microbiome, Glycosylation in Model Archaea, More

In PLOS this week: functional potential of the cervicovaginal microbiome, glycosylation patterns in model archaea, and more.