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Air Pollution Makes Babies' Cells Age Faster due to accelerated Telomere Shortening

There’s growing evidence that exposure to air pollution can have a number of unhealthy consequences, from cancer to heart disease and respiratory illnesses. In recent years, researchers have also linked air pollution exposure to faster aging in adult cells. In a new study published in JAMA Pediatrics, an international group of researchers conducted the first detailed look at pollution’s effect on developing babies in utero. They found that the more pollution expectant moms were exposed to while they were pregnant, the shorter their babies’ telomeres: parts of the DNA in every cell that act as a molecular clock keeping track of the cell’s age, and the body’s.

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