This enzyme, called telomerase, slows the rate at which telomeres degrade, and research indicates that healthy people with longer telomeres have less risk of developing the common illnesses of aging - like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer, which are three big killers today.
In 2004, results from a study that I worked on with colleagues at the University of California, San Francisco, linked chronic stress to shortening of telomeres.
What is it that keeps you so interested in the telomere? It's so intricate and complicated, and you want to know how it works.
Biology sometimes reveals its fundamental principles through what may seem at first to be arcane and bizarre.
I've only actively promoted what we always hope is good science.