Who is Elizabeth Blackburn?
Australian scientist, Elizabeth Blackburn, won her Nobel prize for medicine for her discoveries concerning telomeres, found at the ends of chromosomes. In her new book she tells the story of The Telomere Effect and how better thinking skills reduce disease and ageing through the lengthening of telomeres.
What are telomeres and what happens to them as we age?
If you think of your chromosomes – which carry your genetic material – as shoelaces, telomeres are the little protective tips at the end, here shown red. They are made of repeating short sequences of DNA sheathed in special proteins.
During our lives they wear down and when telomeres can’t protect chromosomes properly, cells can malfunction which increase risks of diseases of ageing: cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, a weakened immune system and more.
But the process is malleable. It is happening in all of us at some rate, but the rate can change. Blackburn discovered an enzyme called telomerase that can add DNA to the ends of chromosomes to slow, prevent and partially reverse the shortening of the telomeres.
Can you delay or reverse ageing by taking care of your telomeres?
The purpose of training to increase lateral thinking skills is to build cognitive strength and dexterity. Cognitive strength and mental resilience greatly reduce stress, anxiety and negative thinking.
Better thinking skills are life-enhancing because cognitive strength has been shown to increase the enzyme telomerase which lengthens the telomeres which reduce disease and ageing.
101 years ago a miracle of thought-leadership …
By stealth and by darkness a hundred years ago and against all odds, a great Australian thought-leader devised a plan to save the lives of 80,000 men at Gallipoli. It was clever. It was unconventional. It was outside the box. It was meticulous. It was silent. It worked!
The highly skilled and brilliant Australian general, Brudenell White, completely tricked the Turks into thinking that his lessening of activities was due to preparing his ANZACs for winter. However, by the night of 19 December, 1915, they had all quietly evacuated Anzac and Sulva bay, which became the most successful operation of the campaign.
Brudenell White in his bunker in Gallipoli
Monash said of White, ‘He is far and away the ablest soldier Australia has ever turned out. He is also a charming good fellow.’
The Germans said, ‘So long as wars last, the evacuation of Suvla and Anzac will stand before the eyes of all strategists as a hitherto unattained masterpiece’.
Army Chief of of the General Staff, General Sir Cyril Brudenell Bingham White KCB KCMG KCVO DSO, known as Brudenell, is described as being simultaneously one of the most important, yet unknown, figures in Australian history. Brudenell was born in St Arnaud, Victoria, on 23 September 1876. He died in the Royal Australian Air Force plane that crashed in the Canberra air disaster on 13 August 1940, killing all aboard.
Brudenell – Lest we forget