telo·​mere | \ ˈte-lə-ˌmir How to pronounce telomere (audio) , ˈtē- How to pronounce telomere (audio) \

Definition of telomere

: the natural end of a eukaryotic chromosome composed of a usually repetitive DNA sequence and serving to stabilize the chromosome

Examples of telomere in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Each time a cell divides to drive growth and repair, its telomeres shorten. Simon Makin, Scientific American, "Effective Psychological Therapy May Slow Cellular Aging," 1 Apr. 2020 But extremely short and extremely long telomeres are seen as a predictor of cancer risk. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "The First Results From NASA's Historic Twin Study Are Here," 11 Apr. 2019 Telocyte’s gene therapy would aim to rebuild those glial telomeres. Katherine Ellen Foley, Quartz, "A biotech startup thinks its idea could cure dementia—but scientists have their doubts," 14 Jan. 2020 A year in space caused DNA damage; gene expression changes; a thickening of the retina; thickening of Kelly's carotid artery; shifts in gut microbes; reduced cognitive abilities; and a structural change at the ends of chromosomes called telomeres. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "Exoplanets, black holes, human ancestors and new dinosaurs: The 2010s were stellar for space and science discoveries," 20 Dec. 2019 The first deviation was the length of telomeres on Scott's DNA grew shorter than expected and his gene expression also changed. John Wenz, Popular Mechanics, "This Is Your Brain on Space," 23 Oct. 2019 With every cell division, these protective telomeres grew shorter, hastening the plants’ inevitable genetic meltdown. Quanta Magazine, "Unexpected ‘Germline’ Plant Cells May Shield New Generations," 5 Aug. 2019 As cells age, their telomeres shorten, and chromosomes in turn stop the cell from dividing further, Chen says. Ryan W. Miller, USA TODAY, "'Missing link' between pond scum and humans discovered, holds promise for cancer research," 20 Nov. 2019 In a nutshell, telomeres are caps found at the ends of chromosomes that protect DNA. Cynthia Sass, Mph,, "The Longevity Diet: What to Eat So You Live Longer and Healthier," 1 Oct. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'telomere.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of telomere

1940, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for telomere

International Scientific Vocabulary

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The first known use of telomere was in 1940

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Cite this Entry

“Telomere.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for telomere


telo·​mere | \ ˈtel-ə-ˌmi(ə)r How to pronounce telomere (audio) , ˈtēl- How to pronounce telomere (audio) \

Medical Definition of telomere

: the natural end of a eukaryotic chromosome composed of a usually repetitive DNA sequence and serving to stabilize the chromosome

Other Words from telomere

telomeric \ ˌtel-​ə-​ˈmer-​ik How to pronounce telomere (audio) \ adjective

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