This is the root of the plant Arabidopsois thaliana with the telomeres highlighted in pink and the stem cell niche in green. The role played by telomeres in mammalian cells has been known for several years. It is also known that these non-coding DNA sequences, which are found at the ends of the chromosomes, protect them and are necessary to ensure correct cell division. What is more, the "youngest" cells have longer telomeres, and as these cells divide, the telomeres get shorter until they no longer permit new cell divisions. This telomere shortening process has also been associated with cancer, which emphasises the important implications of these structures, not only in the ageing process, but also in the oncology field or other age-associated illnesses.