A Straits Times article gives a high level overview of our current understanding of telomeres and how they fit into the aging process. We do know that telomeres shorten with age, and we know that short telomeres are strongly connected with the development of cancer. As the article notes, "scientists are still uncertain whether it is ageing that shortens telomeres or whether shortened telomeres cause ageing. If the former, then scientists searching for the elusive elixir of youth must look elsewhere. If the latter, however, telomere research might yield untold dividends." Given the cancer link, telomere research is important in any case. Understanding cellular biochemistry and processes is the path to effective therapies for any condition.