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 December 2, 2009  Posted by at 4:22 pm Uncategorized

Jack W. SzostakI just booked a seat at the lecture called ‘DNA Ends – Just the Beginning’ by professor Jack W. Szostak. He has received several awards, with the latest being Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine (which he shared with Elizabeth Blackburn and Carol W. Greider). With only 30 seats left I managed to get one, and I can’t wait to meet him.
Together with his colleagues they discovered a mechanism that clarify how chromosomes are protected from degrading. This mechanism is very important for learning more about how cancer works, and how we can affect cancer growth in the future.
In the human body, most cells can only divide a limited number of times to give way to new ‘fresh’ cells. But most normal human cells can only divide a limited number of times. This process, where a cell divides, is called mitosis. Telomeres, that are protective bits of DNA, shorten with time and division – this is called cell degradation and is a normal ageing process. Cancer cells can bypass this by activating the enzyme telomerase, and therefore continue to grow unlimited. I am so excited, although I have a very important test the next day- but we have been reading about cancer the last week- making this lecture even more interesting.

  2 Responses to “Meeting Nobel prize winner Jack W. Szostak, on dec. 16th !”

  1. […] and indicates that exercise helps keep us younger. For more on cancer, telomers have read in my blog from dec. the […]

  2. […] towards the discovery of how chromosomes are protected by telomeres and the enzyme telomerase. (read more here in a previous blog entry of mine). He also described the process behind it, and I was finally appreciating all the biochemistry I had […]

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