Monday, April 9, 2018

Air Pollution May Make Babies' Cells Age Faster

According to the study of 641 newborns, those whose mothers were exposed to higher levels of certain types of air pollution (so-called “particulate matter” from things like car emissions and burning of residential heating fuels), were born with shorter telomeres—8.8% shorter in their cord blood cells and 13.2% shorter in their placenta cells—than those whose mothers were exposed to less pollution. The effect was strongest when the moms were exposed during the second trimester.

Telomeres shorten every time a cell divides; since older cells have divided more than younger ones, their telomeres are shorter. Eventually, when the telomeres become too short, that signals the cell to die. The study’s findings suggest that these babies are starting out with a shallower reserve of telomere length—so as their cells divide, the cells will age faster than those that start out with longer telomeres.

1 comment:

  1. I find this finding to be very interesting. With more and more pollution being put into the air we need to start looking at how it is affecting us. We need to stop pollution before worse things begin to happen to out cells.