This year’s Nobel prize for medicine goes to the three US researchers who discovered how the body protects the chromosomes housing vital genetic code, the BBC reports.

The US scientists, Elizabeth Blackburn from the University of California San Francisco, Carol Greider from Johns Hopkins University and Jack Szostak of Harvard Medical School jointly share the award.

Their work revealed how the chromosomes can be copied and has helped further our understanding on human ageing, cancer and stem cells.