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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

Alzheimer's Risk Gene Among Women

CNN reports that researchers have found that variants in MGMT contribute to Alzheimer's disease risk among women but not men.

Still Hanging Around

The Guardian writes that persistent pockets of SARS-CoV-2 in the body could contribute to long COVID.

Through a Little Spit

Enteric viruses like norovirus may also be transmitted through saliva, not just the fecal-oral route, according to New Scientist.

Nature Papers Present Method to Detect Full Transcriptome, Viruses Infecting Asgard Archaea, More

In Nature this week: VASA-seq approach to detect full transcriptome, analysis of viruses infecting Asgard archaea, and more.