Violence puts wear and tear on kids’ DNA
DURHAM, N.C. — Children who have experienced violence might really be older than their years. The DNA of 10-year-olds who experienced violence in their young lives has been found to show wear and tear normally associated with aging, a Duke University study has found.
“This is the first time it has been shown that our telomeres can shorten at a faster rate even at a really young age, while kids are still experiencing stress,” said Idan Shalev, a post-doctoral researcher in psychology and neuroscience at the Duke Institute for Genome Sciences & Policy.
Telomeres are special DNA sequences found at the tips of chromosomes; much like the plastic tips of shoelaces, they prevent DNA from unraveling. Emerging evidence suggests that telomeres are “master integrators,” connecting stress to biological age and associated diseases….
- Exposure to Violence Alters Children’s DNA, Life-Long Health (madinamerica.com)
- Childhood Stress Leaves Genetic Scars (news.sciencemag.org)
- Childhood Violence Causes Premature DNA Ageing (gizmodo.com.au)
- Kids Exposed to Bullying, Violence May Age Faster – WebMD (drugstoresource.wordpress.com)
- Childhood Violence Causes Premature DNA Ageing [Science] (gizmodo.com)
- Violence Prematurely Ages Children, Study Claims (inquisitr.com)