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Telomeric DNA repeats are lost as normal somatic cells replicate. When telomeres reach a critically short length, a DNA damage signal is initiated, inducing cell senescence. Some studies have indicated that telomere length correlates with mortality, suggesting that telomere length contributes to human life span; however, other studies report no correlation, and thus the issue remains controversial. Domestic dogs show parallels in telomere biology to humans, with similar telomere length,doi:10.1016/j.celrep.2012.11.021 pmid:23260664 fatcat:7m6ffv3y3zczzaebw2tpvymo7u