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A telomere is a region at each end of a chromosome. Telomeres cap the chromosomes to protect them during the cell division process.

Every time a cell divides, portions at the end of the chromosomes are lost. However, thanks to the telomeres capping the end of the chromosomes, the chromosomes themselves are not damaged. Once the telomeres are completely worn down, the cell can no longer divide and this marks the end of life.

Human chromosomes (grey) capped by telomeres (white).
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