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DNA – We all are familiar with the DNA double helix and have seen and heard about it but what is it? Well in a technical sense, it’s deoxyribonucleic acid… DNA is like a blueprint that contains all of the genetic instructions used in the development and functioning of almost all living organisms. One of the amazing traits of DNA is that it is full of genetic information and used for long-term storage of thisinformation for when it is needed by the organism (or you…). This is your genetic code and it is transferred as DNA replicates itself. This coded information in DNA is made up of four chemical bases: adenine (A), guanine (G), cytosine (C), and thymine (T). Human DNA consists of about 3 billion bases, and more than 99 percent of those bases are the same in all people. An important property of DNA is that it can replicate, or make copies of itself. Each strand of DNA in the double helix can serve as a pattern for duplicating the sequence of bases. This is critical when cells divide because each new cell needs to have an exact copy of the DNA present in the old cell. The
Healthy from your DNA out… Bad news if you’re a soda drinker: according to a new study, downing the bubbly stuff daily can age your cells by nearly an additional 2-5 years Researchers are the University of California San Francisco analyzed data from 5,309 adults by looking at numbers from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Specifically, researchers wanted to check the correlation between drinking soda and telomere length—which is the cap on every chromosome in the body. Shorter telomere are associated with shorter lifespan, higher stress, heart disease, diabetes and certain forms of cancer, among other issues. The researchers found drinking just eight ounces of soda a day increased cell age by 1.9 years. Drinking 20 ounces increased cell age by 4.6 years—which is the same aging effect smoking has on your telomeres. “The extremely high dose of sugar that we can put into our body within seconds by drinking sugared beverages is uniquely toxic to metabolism,” says study author Elissa Epel, PhD, professor of psychiatry at the University of California San Francisco. Interestingly, there’s no link between cell aging and sugary fruit juices either. For now, soda seems to be the main culprit affecting our telomeres in the beverage