NPR's Morning Edition presented an excellent summary of the significance of the research of Elizabeth Blackburn, Carol W. Greider, and Jack Szostak, who share this year's Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. "The scientists all study telomeres — structures that act like caps on the ends of chromosomes and protect them when cells divide. Chromosomes are the long strands of DNA that contain a living creature's genetic code." Elizabeth Blackburn of the University of California, San Francisco, is the subject of a recent book, Elizabeth Blackburn and the story of telomeres : deciphering the ends of DNA / Catherine Brady. MIT Press, c2007.
Learn more about the role of telomeres in aging and disease, in this electronic book accessible in the OhioLINK Electronic Book Center and at SpringerLink.com: Telomeres and telomerase in aging, disease, and cancer : molecular mechanisms of adult stem cell ageing / K. Lenhard Rudolph, editor. Springer, c2008.
An older book, The telomere by David Kipling, provides a good overview. Find it in the Science library [QH600.3 .K57 1995].