It was a mystery: how does the chromosome replicate itself precisely during repeated cell divisions without degrading over time? Structures called telomeres (the "caps" on chromosome ends) seemed to provide some clues, but their exact function was poorly understood. The solution to the puzzle, which molecular biologist Carol Greider explained to Big Think this week, won her a share of this year's Nobel Prize in Medicine.
Greider also revealed the latest directions her research has taken and the profound impact her work may soon have on cancer and anti-aging therapies. She even shared a few thoughts on one of her fellow 2009 Nobel laureates, Barack Obama. Greider's interview will be posted later this month.
Jonathan Zimmerman explains why teachers should invite, not censor, tough classroom debates.
- Just 100 companies produce 71 percent of the world's greenhouse gases.
- This map lists their names and locations, and their CEOs.
It marks another milestone in SpaceX's long-standing effort to make spaceflight cheaper.
- SpaceX launched Falcon Heavy into space early Tuesday morning.
- A part of its nosecone – known as a fairing – descended back to Earth using special parachutes.
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