The escalating social and economic burden of an aging world population has placed aging research at center stage. The hallmarks of aging comprise diverse molecular mechanisms and cellular systems that are interrelated and act in concert to drive the aging process. Here, through the lens of telomere biology, we examine how telomere dysfunction may amplify or drive molecular biological processes underlying each hallmark of aging and contribute to development of age-related diseases such as neurodegeneration and cancer. The intimate link of telomeres to aging hallmarks informs preventive and therapeutic interventions designed to attenuate aging itself and reduce the incidence of age-associated diseases.
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