Elizabeth Blackburn, winner of 2009 Nobel Prize in Physiology or MedicineElizabeth Blackburn of the University of California, San Francisco, won the 2009 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

Elizabeth Blackburn of the University of California at San Francisco, who shared the 2009 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Carol Greider of Johns Hopkins University and Jack Szostak of Harvard University, was fascinated about animals and life while growing up in Tasmania. As a researcher, she started studying Tetrahymena, which lives in pond scum. How did those studies lead to her prizewinning research in telomeres (the ends of chromosomes)–and eventually to what they tell us about healthful habits like exercise, the debilitating effects of stress and depression, and diseases such as cancer? Watch this insightful Google Science Fair Hangout On Air for all of that and more.

Scientific American is a founding partner of the Google Science Fair and has funded the $50,000 Scientific American Science in Action award for the past three years; this year we will fund a new award, called the Innovator Award, as well as an award honoring work that has Community Impact. Entries for the 2015 competition are due May 19.

You can also see the Hangout I did last week with Kit Parker of Harvard University here.