In 2009 the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded to three scientists for their discovery and research in telomeres and the enzyme telomerase. Since Watson and Crick published the structure of our DNA and Meselson and Stahl discovered the mechanism by which our DNA is replicated, a mechanism for how the ends of chromosomes can be replicated and maintained. Through years of work, Elizabeth Blackburn, Jack Szostak and Carol Greider were able to determine the mechanism for the replication of telomere DNA, its conserved nature evolutionarily, and key enzymes involved in the process such as telomerase. There findings could have great potential medical application in such fields as cancer and aging.
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