Cell Health Linked to Positive Mood Changes in Meditation

By Jennifer O'Brien

Elizabeth Blackburn, PhD

Elissa Epel, PhD

UCSF Nobel laureate Elizabeth Blackburn, PhD, and researcher Elissa Epel, PhD, are co-authors with UC Davis scientists of a paper showing that the positive psychological changes that occur during meditation training are associated with greater activity of the enzyme telomerase. Blackburn and Epel have pioneered research on the impact of stress on several biological markers of cell aging, including the length of telomeres, the activity of telomerase, and levels of oxidative stress. Blackburn shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2009 for her co-discovery of the telomerase enzyme and her research on telomeres, tiny DNA units that protect chromosomes.


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