Three Americans have been honoured with the 2009 Nobel Prize for medicine.
Carol Greidner is a molecular biology and genetics professor at the John Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore. Jack Szostak is professor of genetics at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. And Elizabeth Blackburn teaches biology and physiology at the University of California. She explained how she first heard the news: “I thought I was dreaming, I groped for the phone and the person explained why he was calling and it slowly dawned on me that this might be real and so I was very, very excited as my brain cells started to wake up.” The three scientists are to share the prize for their discovery of “telomerase”, a so-called “immortality enzyme” that allows cells to divide without dying and could play a role in the uncontrolled spread of cancer cells.