An interesting piece on research into telomeres is reprinted at the LEF News: "Like a string of pearls at the tip of every chromosome, but the length of the necklace continually varies. Every time the cell replicates, one of the pearls disappears. When you reach the end of the necklace, the cell dies. ... We know that telomeres control when the cell dies, but the key is [to discover] which cells control aging and death ... And we don't know which cells those are yet." Telomere research is an important example of the intersection between cancer and aging science - basic research here benefits both fields. "If researchers could figure out why the telomerase suddenly becomes active and why the cells fuse ... scientists could create an early-cancer detection test."