Changes in telomere length in rabbit osteoblasts following distraction osteogenesis, with a review of literature relating to telomeres, aging and cancer
Brown, Gavin Stewart Campbell
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The current and preceding two centuries of medicine can be thought of as three separate ages; The Age of Amputation, The Age of Replacement and The Age of Regeneration. The field of medicine is only just starting to explore the possibilities of regrowth, whether it be missing limbs or degrading neurones. stem cell research is still controversial but has some potentially exciting applications for future treatment. As it becomes possible to regrow missing body parts and replace failing ones, the life expectancy of people in developed countries may increase to previously unknown ages. However, simply replacing organs or body parts is unlikely to be the solution to fully unlocking the so-called 'secrets of immortality'. To achieve this goal it is necessary to understand how the body ages and why it does so. One of the foundations of research into aging is the study of telomeres, DNA repair mechanisms and their role in disease and cancer. In this thesis, recent research regarding telomeres will be reviewed. The effects of distraction osteogenesis procedures on the length of telomeres, and hence the cells' biological age, will also be investigated.