Elizabeth Blackburn And Telomarase Essay

634 words - 3 pages

Elizabeth Blackburn and TelomeraseThe telomere is no stranger to the realm of noble prize winners, past winners such as Hermann Muller (1946) and Barbara McClintock (1983) have both observed the structures located at the end of chromosomes. Their primary function serves to prevent the chromosomes from attaching to one another. Furthermore, they play a critical role in the protection of the genetic material on the chromosome. However, the manner in which they operated was very much a mystery until the research of Elizabeth BlackburnSo the first question we need to ask ourselves is, what are the roles of the telomeres and the telomerase as well as the implications for human health and disease, which will be discussed later in the presentation.So, lets begin with focusing on what occurs at the very heart of the cell, the nucleus and the process of cell division. If we observe this process underneath a microscope using a stain to make the chromosomes more visible to the lens we would see two sausage like stands with small red dots at the very ends. These are known as telomeres and have a vital function in protecting the chromosomes from degradation.To understand their function better we must first look at DNA and the different forms in which it comes in. There are primarily two different kinds. The first being the natural end of the DNA which are the ends of the chromosomal DNA. But there can also be breaks in the DNA strands. The job of the cell is to prevent any DNA breaks from occurring and sealing them as they happen by accident. This is where we understand the first imperative function of this capping role is to prevent the telomeres from engaging in these DNA transactions that can lead to the DNA strand being broken. Now what we need to understand is that DNA can be sutured together by a process like recombination or by simple end to end fusions. Wit this said, they...

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