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04/24/2012

Violence ages children’s DNA, shortens their chromosomes

External Link - Source: USA Today

Conventional wisdom says that hardship can make us old before our time. In fact, a new study suggests that violence leaves long-term scars on children’s bodies — not just in bruises on the skin, but also altering their DNA, causing changes that are equivalent to seven to 10 years of premature aging. Scientists measured this cellular aging by studying the ends of children’s chromosomes, called telomeres, according to Idan Shalev, lead author of a study in today’s Molecular Psychiatry.

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