Molecular biologist Elizabeth Blackburn shared a Nobel Prize for her research on telomeres — structures at the tips of chromosomes that play a key role in cellular aging. But she was frustrated that important health implications of her work weren’t reaching beyond academia.
So along with psychologist Elissa Epel, she has published her findings in a new book aimed at a general audience — laying out a scientific case that may give readers motivation to keep their new year’s resolutions to not smoke, eat well, sleep enough, exercise regularly, and cut down on stress.
The main message of “The Telomere Effect,” being published Tuesday, is that you have more control over your own aging than you may imagine. You can actually lengthen your telomeres — and perhaps your life — by following sound health advice, the authors argue, based on a review of thousands of studies.
“Telomeres listen to you, they listen to your behaviors, they listen to your state of mind,” said Blackburn, president of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, Calif.