A quick biology lesson Cells contain genes. Genes provide the code to replicate those cells. Cells replicate so the bodies they inhabit can live long enough to reproduce and pass those genes to the next generation. Sometimes this process goes wonky, and genetic mutations cause cells to begin replicating out of control. We call these cells cancerous. DNA strands have little strings of code on the ends called telomeres. Every time a cell divides, one unit of the telomere gets used up. Once the telomere is gone, the cell can no longer divide. Cancerous cells eventually stop replicating because the telomere gets used up. Telomeres, thus, protect against cancer.
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