Children who have experienced violence might really be older than their years. The DNA of 10-year-olds who experienced violence shows wear and tear normally associated with aging, a Duke University study has found. The research focused on telomeres, DNA sequences found at the tips of chromosomes. Telomeres are known to get shorter each time cells divide, putting a limit on the number of times a given cell can go on dividing. Smoking, obesity, psychological disorders and stress have been found to possibly accelerate that process of telomere loss. In that sense, our telomeres may reflect biological age, not just chronological age. "This is the first time it has been shown that our telomeres can shorten at a faster rate even at a really young age, while kids are still experiencing stress," said Idan Shalev, a post-doctoral researcher in psychology and neuroscience at the Duke Institute for Genome Sciences & Policy.