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Keywords:

  • DNA;
  • Nobel lecture;
  • telomerase;
  • telomeres
Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

Secrets revealed: The Nobel Prize for Medicine 2009 was awarded for the solution to one of the greatest mysteries of biology: how are chromosomes copied upon cell division and protected from degradation? The answer can be found at the ends of the chromosomes—the telomeres—and in the enzyme that forms them—telomerase. The laureates describe the events leading to the discovery first-hand.