Congratulations to Elizabeth Blackburn, one of the scientists in The Shamatha Project, who received the Nobel Prize today. Blackburn shared the award with two others for their work on telomeres, which have deep relevance to cancer and aging. In this 2007 NYT interview, Blackburn alludes to her work with The Shamatha Project:
Q. Is your goal to find a drug to repair the telomeres?
A. Or an intervention. We know that stress is bad for cells. What about alleviating it? We’ve been collaborating on studies looking at the telomerase levels in people who practice meditation. We are looking at whether or not telomerase changes after a three-month program of meditation. We’ll know more soon.
One of the really interesting things about doing research these days is how interdisciplinary it has become. A few years ago, I never thought that I would be collaborating with psychologists. Ten years ago, if you’d told me that I would be seriously thinking about meditation, I would have said one of us is loco.
Blackburn's work on the effects of meditation on cellular aging should be approaching publication soon. Rumor has it her work will show exciting results ... we'll find out soon!