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Biochem student

Bacteria have a circular chromosome which is replicated completely every time it divides (unless there are mutations). However, Human chromosomes are linear and therefore can not be replicated fully by a 5' to 3' polymerase. We require telomerase to add extra telomers to the end of the chromosome so that it does not shorten with each generation. However, as we age telomerase is expressed in smaller quantities. Our cells age with passing generations because telomers are not added and our chromosomes shorten. Bacteria don't age because their chromosome is circular and can be completely replicated by a 5' to 3' polymerase.

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