Carol W. Greider

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Carol W. Greider

Brilliant Dyslexic

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.