According to the citation Elizabeth Blackburn, Carol Greider and Jack Szostak solved one of the biggest riddles in biology. The American trio figured out 'how chromosomes can be copied in a complete way during cell divisions and how they are protected against degradation'.
Blackburn, Greider and Szostak's studies found that the answer was at the ends of the chromosomes or the telomeres and in an enzyme that forms them.
"The discoveries by Blackburn, Greider and Szostak have added a new dimension to our understanding of the cell, shed light on disease mechanisms, and stimulated the development of potential new therapies," the prize committee said.
The award which can be the ultimate honour includes 10 million kronor ($1.4 million) , a diploma and an invitation to the prize ceremonies in Stockholm on Dec 10.