12/12/2012 - ''When molecular biologist Carol Greider was 25 years old, she was studying a minute pond creature and its telomeres, the tips of its chromosomes. Greider knew that as chromosomes naturally divided, their telomeres became shorter, but in this particular animal they did not.
She wondered why, and guessed that an enzyme was involved. Her hunch panned out. According to Greider’s research, the enzyme, telomerase (pronounced “ta-LAW-mer-ace”), helps maintain the length of telomeres, replenishing them with each cell division. This discovery led to the 2009 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for Greider and two colleagues, and to further study of the connection of telemeres to diseases associated with aging, such as pulmonary fibrosis, and to some cancers.
Greider, now 51, is director of molecular biology and genetics at the Institute for Basic Biomedical Sciences at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. She recently spoke to The Post about telomeres and whether understanding how to manipulate them may someday lead to treatments of age-related diseases.''
Read the full article, Investigating telomeres and what they mean for aging-related diseases, on The Washington Post website.