|The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2012 jointly to John B. Gurdon and Shinya Yamanaka for the discovery that mature cells can be reprogrammed to become pluripotent:|
The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2012 jointly to John B. Gurdon and Shinya Yamanaka for the discovery that mature cells can be reprogrammed to become pluripotent:
The Nobel Prize recognizes two scientists who discovered that mature, specialised cells can be reprogrammed to become immature cells capable of developing into all tissues of the body. Their findings have revolutionised our understanding of how cells and organisms develop.
John B. Gurdon discovered in 1962 that the specialisation of cells is reversible. In a classic experiment, he replaced the immature cell nucleus in an egg cell of a frog with the nucleus from a mature intestinal cell. This modified egg cell developed into a normal tadpole. The DNA of the mature cell still had all the information needed to develop all cells in the frog.
Shinya Yamanaka discovered more than 40 years later, in 2006, how intact mature cells in mice could be reprogrammed to become immature stem cells. Surprisingly, by introducing only a few genes, he could reprogram mature cells to become pluripotent stem cells, i.e. immature cells that are able to develop into all types of cells in the body.
These groundbreaking discoveries have completely changed our view of the development and cellular specialisation. We now understand that the mature cell does not have to be confined forever to its specialised state. Textbooks have been rewritten and new research fields have been established. By reprogramming human cells, scientists have created new opportunities to study diseases and develop methods for diagnosis and therapy.
From surprising discovery to medical use
The discoveries of Gurdon and Yamanaka have shown that specialised cells can turn back the developmental clock under certain circumstances. Although their genome undergoes modifications during development, these modifications are not irreversible. We have obtained a new view of the development of cells and organisms.
Research during recent years has shown that iPS cells can give rise to all the different cell types of the body. These discoveries have also provided new tools for scientists around the world and led to remarkable progress in many areas of medicine. iPS cells can also be prepared from human cells.
For instance, skin cells can be obtained from patients with various diseases, reprogrammed, and examined in the laboratory to determine how they differ from cells of healthy individuals. Such cells constitute invaluable tools for understanding disease mechanisms and so provide new opportunities to develop medical therapies.
|A French-American duo Serge Haroche and David J. Wineland shared the 2012 Nobel Prize in physics|
A French-American duo Serge Haroche and David J. Wineland shared the 2012 Nobel Prize in physics
A French-American duo shared the 2012 Nobel Prize in physics Tuesday for inventing methods to observe the bizarre properties of the quantum world, research that has led to the construction of extremely precise clocks and helped scientists take the first steps toward building superfast computers.
The Nobel Prize in Physics 2012 was awarded jointly to Serge Haroche and David J. Wineland "for ground-breaking experimental methods that enable measuring and manipulation of individual quantum systems"
Born: 1944, Casablanca, Morocco
Nobel Prize in Physics motivation: "for ground-breaking experimental methods that enable measuring and manipulation of individual quantum systems" : a study about the light particles, the photons.
David J. Wineland
Born: 1944, Milwaukee, WI, USA
Nobel Prize in Physicsmotivation: "for ground-breaking experimental methods that enable measuring and manipulation of individual quantum systems": His work has included advances in optics, specifically laser cooling of ions in Paul traps and use of trapped ions to implement quantum computing operations.
Particle Control in a Quantum World:
The Nobel Laureates have opened the door to a new era of experimentation with quantum physics by demonstrating the direct observation of individual quantum particles without destroying them. For single particles of light or matter the laws of classical physics cease to apply and quantum physics takes over. But single particles are not easily isolated from their surrounding environment and they lose their mysterious quantum properties as soon as they interact with the outside world. Thus many seemingly bizarre phenomena predicted by quantum physics could not be directly observed, and researchers could only carry out thought experiments that might in principle manifest these bizarre phenomena.
Through their ingenious laboratory methods Haroche and Wineland together with their research groups have managed to measure and control very fragile quantum states, which were previously thought inaccessible for direct observation. The new methods allow them to examine, control and count the particles.
Their methods have many things in common. David Wineland traps electrically charged atoms, or ions, controlling and measuring them with light, or photons.
Serge Haroche takes the opposite approach: he controls and measures trapped photons, or particles of light, by sending atoms through a trap.
Both Laureates work in the field of quantum optics studying the fundamental interaction between light and matter, a field which has seen considerable progress since the mid-1980s. Their ground-breaking methods have enabled this field of research to take the very first steps towards building a new type of super fast computer based on quantum physics. Perhaps the quantum computer will change our everyday lives in this century in the same radical way as the classical computer did in the last century. The research has also led to the construction of extremely precise clocks that could become the future basis for a new standard of time, with more than hundred-fold greater precision than present-day caesium clocks.
|The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2012 was awarded jointly to Robert J. Lefkowitz and Brian K. Kobilka "for studies of G-protein-coupled receptors".|
The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2012 was awarded jointly to Robert J. Lefkowitz and Brian K. Kobilka "for studies of G-protein-coupled receptors".
Nobel prize in chemistry 2012 for work on cell receptors: as it happened
Americans Robert J Lefkowitz and Brian K Kobilka have won this year's chemistry Nobel for their work on G-protein-coupled receptors, which allow cells to sense light, flavour, odour and receive signals from hormones and neurotransmitters
Robert J. Lefkowitz
Born: 1943, New York, NY, USA
Prize motivation: "for studies of G-protein-coupled receptors"
Brian K. Kobilka
Born: 1955, Little Falls, MN, USA
Prize motivation: "for studies of G-protein-coupled receptors"
G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs)
Various ligands use G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) to stimulate membrane, cytoplasmic and nuclear targets. GPCRs interact with heterotrimeric G proteins composed of alpha, beta and gamma subunits that are GDP bound in the resting state. Agonist binding triggers a conformational change in the receptor, which catalyses the dissociation of GDP from the alpha subunit followed by GTP-binding to Galpha and the dissociation of Galpha from Gbetagamma subunits1. The alpha subunits of G proteins are divided into four subfamilies: Galphas, Galphai, Galphaq and Galpha12, and a single GPCR can couple to either one or more families of Galpha proteins. Each G protein activates several downstream effectors2. Typically Galphas stimulates adenylyl cyclase and increases levels of cyclic AMP (cAMP), whereas Galphai inhibits adenylyl cyclase and lowers cAMP levels, and members of the Galphaq family bind to and activate phospholipase C (PLC), which cleaves phosphatidylinositol bisphosphate (PIP2) into diacylglycerol and inositol triphosphate (IP3). The Gbeta subunits and Ggamma subunits function as a dimer to activate many signalling molecules, including phospholipases, ion channels and lipid kinases. Besides the regulation of these classical second-messenger generating systems, Gbetagamma subunits and Galpha subunits such as Galpha12 and Galphaq can also control the activity of key intracellular signal-transducing molecules, including small GTP-binding proteins of the Ras and Rho families and members of the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) family of serine-threonine kinases, including extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK), c-jun N-terminal kinase (JNK), p38 and ERK5, through an intricate network of signalling events that has yet to be fully elucidated1, 4, 6. Ultimately, the integration of the functional activity of the G-protein-regulated signalling networks control many cellular functions, and the aberrant activity of G proteins and their downstream target molecules can contribute to cancer progression and metastasis. 5-HT, 5-hydroxytryptamine; ECM, extracellular matrix; GABA, gamma-aminobutyric acid; GEF, guanine nucleotide exchange factor; GRK, G protein receptor kinase; LPA, lysophosphatidic acid; PI3K, phophatidylinositol 3-kninase; PKA and PKC, protein kinase A and C; S1P sphingosine-1-phosphate.
Diversity of G Protein-Coupled Receptor Signal Transduction Pathways
Receptors coupled to heterotrimeric GTP-binding proteins (G proteins) are integral transmembrane proteins that transduce extracellular signals to the cell interior. G protein-coupled receptors exhibit a common structural motif consisting of seven membrane spanning regions. Receptor occupation promotes interaction between the receptor and the G protein on the interior surface of the membrane. This induces an exchange of GDP for GTP on the G protein a subunit and dissociation of the a subunit from the bg heterodimer. Depending on its isoform, the GTP-a subunit complex mediates intracellular signaling either indirectly by acting on effector molecules such as adenylyl cyclase (AC) or phospholipase C (PLC), or directly by regulating ion channel or kinase function.
|Nobel Prize in Literature, 2012: Mo Yan had received the Nobel Prize in Literature for his work "with hallucinatory realism merges folk tales, history and the contemporary".|
On 11 October 2012, the Swedish Academy announced that Mo Yan had received the Nobel Prize in Literature for his work "with hallucinatory realism merges folk tales, history and the contemporary". Aged 57 at the time of the announcement, he was the 109th recipient of the award and the first ever resident of mainland China resident to receive it—Chinese-born Gao Xingjian, a citizen of France, having been named the 2000 laureate. According to Swedish Academy head Peter Englund, Mo Yan was "overjoyed and terrified" to hear the news and had been at home with his father when he heard the news. Englund also said, "He has such a damn unique way of writing. If you read half a page of Mo Yan you immediately recognise it as him".
known by the pen name Mo Yan (born 17 February 1955) is a Chinese author, described by Donald Morrison in U.S. news magazine TIME as "one of the most famous, oft-banned and widely pirated of all Chinese writers". He has been referred to as the Chinese answer to Franz Kafka or Joseph Heller.
This year he was awarded the 2012 Nobel Prize in Literature for his work as a writer "who with hallucinatory realism merges folk tales, history and the contemporary"
Mo Yan, 57, is perhaps best-known abroad for his 1987 novella Red Sorghum”, a tale of the brutal violence that plagued the eastern China countryside – where he grew up – during the 1920s and 30s. The story was later made into an acclaimed film by leading Chinese director Zhang Yimou, and won the Golden Bear at the Berlin film festival in 1988.
As a 12-year-old during the Cultural Revolution he left school to work, first in agriculture, later in a factory and in 1976 he joined the People’s Liberation Army and began to study literature and write.
He chose the pen name Mo Yan which means “Don’t speak” and his first short story was published in a literary journal in 1981.
The backdrops for his various works have included the 1911 revolution that toppled China’s last imperial dynasty, Japan’s brutal wartime invasion, newly Communist China’s failed land-reform policies of the 1950s and the madness of Mao Zedong’s 1966-76 Cultural Revolution.
Mo has published 11 novels so far, as well as dozens of short stories and novellas. His work is set largely in the past, in rural areas, and many of his books are described as family histories, though they also have a strong affinity with magical realism—he once remarked: “García Márquez wrote my novel.” His 2006 novel Life and Death are Wearing Me Out, for example, is the story of a landowner who, following his execution under Mao Zedong, is reincarnated as a donkey.
Stylistically Mo is a maximalist: his novels are distinguished by their playfulness and their stylistic flamboyance, as well as occasional scenes of graphic violence—The Red Sorghum Family, on which the movie is based, includes a scene in which a human being is flayed alive. He occasionally includes himself as a character in his fictions. Mo is frequently classified as a satirist: The Republic of Wine tells the story of an official sent to the countryside to investigate rumors of cannibalism. His novel Big Breasts and Wide Hips, which appeared in China in 1996 and the West in 2005, was an epic, sprawling indictment of the male dominance of Chinese society. Frog, his most recent novel, addresses the Chinese policy of one family, one child.
Mo’s work unquestionably contains powerful elements of social criticism, but he has been engaged in a career-long game of brinksmanship with the Chinese government, and while he has had his share of run-ins with the censors, he still lives in Beijing and writes and publishes within the constraints of Chinese state censorship.
|The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 2012 was awarded jointly to Alvin E. Roth and Lloyd S. Shapley "for the theory of stable allocations and the practice of market design"|
The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 2012 Alvin E. Roth, Lloyd S. Shapley:
The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 2012 was awarded jointly to Alvin E. Roth and Lloyd S. Shapley "for the theory of stable allocations and the practice of market design"
Alvin E. Roth
Affiliation at the time of the award: Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA, Harvard Business School, Boston, MA, USA
Prize motivation: "for the theory of stable allocations and the practice of market design"
Lloyd S. Shapley
Born: 1923, Cambridge, MA, USA
Affiliation at the time of the award: University of California, Los Angeles, CA, USA
Prize motivation: "for the theory of stable allocations and the practice of market design"
Nobel Prize for Economics 2012: Alvin Roth, Lloyd Shapley win $1.2 million:
US economists Alvin Roth and Lloyd Shapley won the 2012 Nobel prize for Economics the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, which awards the 8 million crown ($1.2 million) prize, announced on Monday.
The pair have applied game theory to everyday problems, which has resulted in what is called ‘match making’. In a world where resources are scarce, who gets what becomes a central question, a Nobel committee member and a professor at the Stockholm School of Economics, Tore Ellingsen, said.
“Which worker gets which job? Which student gets to go to which school? Which patient gets access to which transplantable organ. Matching theory explains how outcomes depend on the chosen matching procedure,” Ellingsen said. The committee called the work of Roth, 60, and Shapley, 89, an outstanding example of economic engineering.
Shapley, the elder among the two recipients applied game theory to compare various matching methods and make sure the matches were acceptable to all counterparts. He is an emeritus professor at the University of California Los Angeles. Alvin Roth who followed in Shapley’s footsteps and built upon his work in a series of empirical studies, said that the award was unimaginable and unexpected.
“It certainly is expected that Lloyd Shapley should win the prize. It would have been a grave oversight if he did not. So I am glad to share it with him,” he said. Roth explained his work as a study of ‘courtship’. “You can’t just have what you want; you also have to do some courtship and there is courtship on both sides and we study the marketplace processes by which those types of courtship are resolved,” he said, explaining that algorithms, the formulas used to resolve a problem, help organize and process people’s preferences.
“But the things that go into those preferences, we often have very little to say about that, and that’s where hunches come in,” he said. Roth uses his ‘match making’ to find compatible kidney donors and recipients through a New England program for Kidney exchange. He has also applied design theory to the public school admission process in New York and Boston.
“This is very much what economics is about,” Tore Ellingsen said. “How to allocate scarce resources as well as possible, to economize.” Others were also all praise for Roth’s work. “Here is an economic theorist who hasn’t just made things more efficient. He has actually saved lives. It is unclear whether it is the economics Nobel he deserved or the Nobel prize for medicine,” Joshua Gans, who teaches strategic management at the University of Toronto.
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