Carol W. Greider was born in California (USA) in 1961. She found it very difficult to get intoUniversity because the SATs did not value her abilities: Carol was dyslexic.
At just twenty years old, working twelve hours a day in a laboratory under Professor Elizabeth Blackburn, she identified a new enzyme called telomerase, a cell component that protects the chromosomes.
Chromosomes are like libraries full of books that hold all the information needed by the cell to live. When cells multiply, their chromosomes divide. A portion of these chromosomes, i.e., the telomeres, gets shorter and shorter. There comes a time when the chromosomes cannot divide any more, and the cell grows old and dies.
So, telomerase prevents telomeres from shortening, and enables cells to stay younger for longer.