Posted by: maboulette | October 4, 2011

NOBEL PRIZE IN MEDICINE

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(CNN) — Three recipients have been named winners of the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, the awards committee announced Monday.

The prize was divided, one half jointly to Bruce A. Beutler and Jules A. Hoffmann “for their discoveries concerning the activation of innate immunity,” and the other half to Ralph M. Steinman “for his discovery of the dendritic cell and its role in adaptive immunity.” 

The announcement kicked off a week of awards that will also honor achievements in physics, chemistry, literature, peace and economics. 

The Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institute said Beutler, Hoffmann and Steinman have “revolutionized our understanding of the immune system by discovering key principles for its activation.” 

“Bruce Beutler and Jules Hoffmann discovered receptor proteins that can recognize such microorganisms and activate innate immunity, the first step in the body’s immune response,” the committee said in a written statement. “Ralph Steinman discovered the dendritic cells of the immune system and their unique capacity to activate and regulate adaptive immunity, the later stage of the immune response during which microorganisms are cleared from the body.” 

The Nobel laureates’ discoveries and work has opened up new opportunities for the development of prevention and therapy against infections, cancer and inflammatory diseases, the committee said. 

The prize in medicine, worth 10 million Swedish kronor (about $1.5 million), went last year to Robert G. Edwards — “the father of the test tube baby.” 

Since the first birth from in vitro fertilization in 1978, Edwards’ work has led to the birth of about 4 million babies, the awards committee said in praising his work.

On Tuesday, the committee will announce its award for achievement in physics. The next day, the winner of the Nobel prize in chemistry will be announced.

The committee will announce the most anticipated of the annual honors — the Nobel Peace Prize — on Friday. 

On October 10, the committee will announce its award for the prize for economics.

Since 1901, the committee has handed out the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 101 times. The youngest recipient is Frederick G. Banting, who won in 1923 at the age of 32. The oldest medicine laureate is Peyton Rous, who was 87 years old when he was awarded the prize in 1966.


Responses

  1. Hopefully, the Nobel Peace Prize should go to Herman Cain, for ‘what he will do’.


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