Center for Studies in Demography and Ecology

Dan Eisenberg Publishes Study on DNA and Disease Links

Posted: 1/30/2017 (CSDE Research)

Dan Eisenberg, CSDE Affiliate and assistant professor of Anthropology at UW, recently published a study examining DNA telomere length in relation to early childhood illnesses and breastfeeding. The study, compiled in the American Journal of Human Biology, found that telomeres–“caps” on chromosomes–are shorter in adults with sickly childhoods but are unaffected by breastfeeding practices. Telomeres are important factors in the body’s ability to combat disease later in life, making the findings particularly relevant for public health. Eisenberg notes that further study is needed to determine whether shorter telomeres are the cause or the result of early sickness.

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