I read this article late last night on MSNBC. Research done on the children living in Romanian orphanages found that the neglectful conditions has actually damaged their DNA.
Harsh Life of Romanian Orphans
It's horrifying, isn't it? I guess it's something I would have assumed, but to see it verified in print is chilling. The level of neglect in the orphanages of Romania is notorious, well documented, and appalling. While life in other orphanages around the world has not been as thoroughly studied, I believe we can apply the results taking into consideration that the conditions in Romania were extreme. Life for orphans in other countries may not have been "as bad", and some institutions are well- regarded. However conditions are rarely, if ever, ideal. Some may be worse.
My question is, is that lost life span and health recoverable? Or has the child's suffering caused permanent damage. Once those telomeres have been altered will they grow back under better conditions?
I hope so.