(ominous music) - [Man] Stupid DNA.
There's something wrong with it.
Okay, there it is.
- [Narrator] The DNA double helix, a remarkably stable system to store information.
But things can go wrong.
Let's take a look at some ways DNA can get damaged.
(screen buzzing) - [Man] Dang it, it's doing it again.
- (grunting) Let me get back here and take a look.
Oh yeah, it looks like something's damaged your DNA.
And when was the last time this whole cell duplicated?
- [Man] Oh, it was about a week ago.
- Well, it's unlikely your DNA got damaged during cell duplication, if you know what I mean?
Normally this double twisty structure here prevents any damaged parts from matching up.
But if that doesn't stop damage, then it has to get past the protein task force.
Well, one protein finds the problem and calls for other proteins to come in, chop it up, and repair the gaps.
It's rare, but if the error gets past all the safeguards then it will duplicate with all future cell divisions and could cause all kinds of damage to the body.
Okay, you should be good, but I'll stick around just in case.
- [Announcer] Coming up next on Damaged, will our hero be fried by radiation or toxic chemicals?
Either one will snap its sugar phosphate backbone to pieces and could be... - [Man] Aw, come on!
- [Narrator] A sighting of a methyl group attached to a DNA code.
Methyl groups cling to different parts of DNA depending on diet, exercise, stress, and chemical exposure.
And these little guys change how DNA is read.
The DNA itself isn't damaged, but the effect can be bad for the cell.
Did you see that?
It just... - [Man] Ah, I give up.
- [Repairman] How long have you had this DNA?
- [Man] Uh, let's see.
- I ask because while the research is still developing there seems to be a link between these guys called telomeres and aging.
Telomeres are a chunk of extra information on the ends of DNA that protect it from wearing down.
But each time the DNA duplicates with the cell those telomeres get shorter.
Aging and stress tend to mean shorter telomeres, but scientists are still figuring out why.
Okay, you should be all set.
I've checked everything.
Give me a call if you have any problems.
I'll send you the bill.
(laughs) - Have your DNA safeguards failed?
Has your DNA been damaged due to biological negligence, cell duplication error, exposure to radiation or chemicals, misread code due to a methyl group, worn out telomeres?
Call Mendel, Crick, and McClintok for your free consultation today.