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On Being with Krista Tippett is a public radio project delving into the human side of news stories + issues. Curated + edited by senior editor Trent Gilliss.

We publish guest contributions. We edit long; we scrapbook. We do big ideas + deep meaning. We answer questions.

We've even won a couple of Webbys + a Peabody Award.

The Timeliness of Telomeres
Marc Sanchez, associate producer

The Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine was awarded this week to Dr. Elizabeth A. Blackburn, Dr. Carol W. Greider, and Dr. Jack D. Szostak. Their work in the 1980’s brought to light the importance of telomeres. In the simplest terms, telomeres live at the ends of our chromosomes, and up until the time of this research, nobody really knew what they were for. Their work shows how telomeres protect our chromosomes, so that during cell division our DNA can be precisely copied from one cell to the next.

Our staff was introduced to telomeres a few weeks ago when Krista interviewed Dr. Doris Taylor. Taylor has gained notoriety recently for her work studying stem cells and "building" hearts. We’re hard at work getting the full interview ready to air in a couple weeks, but here’s an excerpt of that interview in which she talks about stress, stem cells, and telomeres.