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" Ageing is so many different things, and cells being able to self-renew is part of the picture but not all of it. "
" Generally, we try to have a situation where the person is healthy, so you're not confounded by disease. So, that means that healthy individuals are donating their blood samples for the studies. "
" Checking your telomere length is a bit like weighing yourself: you get this single number which depends on a lot of factors. Telomere length gives a sense of your underlying health. "
" No one ever said, 'Be a doctor.' But because so many members of my extended family - aunts, uncles - were doctors, there was this expectation that I'd probably be a physician. "
" Researchers have found that the brain definitely sends nerves directly to organs of the immune system and not just to the heart and the lower gut. In that way, too, the brain is influencing the body. "
" What is it that keeps you so interested in the telomere? It's so intricate and complicated, and you want to know how it works. "
" I'm pretty good about getting some exercise every day - well, most days. The secret for me was to put the elliptical in front of the TV. "
" I was born in the small city of Hobart in Tasmania, Australia, in 1948. My parents were family physicians. My grandfather and great grandfather on my mother's side were geologists. "
" When scientists get old, they get interested in the brain, and I'm a little bit afraid I'm falling into that. "
" Basically, when you look at different types of cells, such as fibroblasts, which form connective tissue, or epithelial cells, from saliva, you see general correlations within a person. If telomeres are up for one cell type, they're up for others overall. "
" Being senior enough in the field, having enough solidity, I don't feel afraid of being marginalized. "
" At Cambridge, there was a completely unintimidating culture, and there were no class divisions among the students. "
" Biology sometimes reveals its fundamental principles through what may seem at first to be arcane and bizarre. "
" If we think of our chromosomes - they carry our genetic material - as being like shoelaces, I work on the plastic tips at the end that protect them. "
" Perhaps arising from a fascination with animals, biology seemed the most interesting of sciences to me as a child. "
" Exercise mitigates the effects of stress - and stress, we know, shortens telomeres. In fact, early studies indicate that stress reduction techniques like meditation help people maintain the length of their telomeres. "
" In my early work, our molecular views of telomeres were first focused on the DNA. "
" The most dangerous cancer cells are actually the ones that are more like stem cells, which have this ability to produce themselves over and over again. More and more cancer biologists say stem-cell-like cells in cancers are the most dangerous. "
" In humans, the thing is that as we mature, our telomeres slowly wear down. So the question has always been: 'Did that matter?' Well, more and more, it seems like it matters. "
" I spent my first 4 years living in the tiny town of Snug, by the sea near Hobart. Curious about animals, I would pick up ants in our backyard and jellyfish on the beach. "
" Medicine has been successful by treating diseases in a very specific way once the damage is done. But telomere length integrates a lot of factors together and gives you an overall picture of risk for what is now emerging as a lot of diseases that tend to occur together, such as diabetes and heart disease. "
" Challenges in medicine are moving from 'Treat the symptoms after the house is on fire' to 'Can we preserve the house intact?' "
" The goal is to learn more about telomere length and other markers of ageing, how best to measure these markers, how they are related to health and lifestyle, and how people respond to learning their own telomere length results. "
" When you bring telomerase RNA levels down by using a mechanism that targets the RNA for destruction, the cells which were running on very high telomerase levels are now running on a lean diet of telomerase. "
" In the 1970s, I did a Ph.D. with Fred Sanger in Cambridge who was in the process of inventing ways to map what's inside DNA. He later won the Nobel Prize. "
" Studying organisms at a molecular level was totally compelling because it was moving from being a naturalist, which was the 19th-century kind of science, to being very focused and really getting to the heart of these molecules. "
" I've only actively promoted what we always hope is good science. "
" We think there are lifestyle factors that boost telomerase naturally. "
" We're involved in a very large study that's federally funded and being done with Kaiser Permanente, and saliva is a very non-invasive way to get cells from the body. "
" Tracing the beginnings of the interwoven stories of science can be arbitrary, as beginnings are so often lost in the mists of time. "
" In 2004, results from a study that I worked on with colleagues at the University of California, San Francisco, linked chronic stress to shortening of telomeres. "