Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

Donors pledge millions at Uganda refugee summit

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Depp plumbs depths of bad taste

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

France's new frontman, America's absent center, May's Brexit gambit, Saudi royal reshuffle, after Mosul & Raqqa fall

Read more

REVISITED

Senegal’s Casamance hopes for new era of peace

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

FARC disarmament a 'historic day' for Colombia, says president

Read more

FASHION

Cruise collections: All aboard for Dior and Chanel's latest fashions

Read more

ENCORE!

Colombia comes to France

Read more

#THE 51%

The last taboo: Helping women and girls. Period.

Read more

DOWN TO EARTH

Who benefits when the ice caps melt?

Read more

Health

Chromosome scientists awarded Nobel Prize for medicine

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2009-10-13

The 2009 Nobel Prize for medicine has been awarded to three scientists to honour their breakthrough discovery of how chromosomes are copied and protected against degradation, the Nobel jury announced on Monday.

REUTERS - Three American scientists won the 2009 Nobel prize for medicine or physiology on Monday for their discovery of how chromosomes are copied and protected, work that cast light on cancer and the ageing process.

Australian-born Elizabeth Blackburn, British-born Jack Szostak and Carol Greider won the prize of 10 million Swedish crowns ($1.42 million), Sweden’s Karolinska Institute said.

The institute said the three had "solved a major problem in biology ", namely how chromosomes were copied completely during cell division and protected against degradation.

"The discoveries ... have added a new dimension to our understanding of the cell, shed light on disease mechanisms, and stimulated the development of potential new therapies," it said.

The ends of chromosomes are called telomeres and if these are shortened, cells age. Scientists had speculated that this process could be the reason for ageing, not only in individual cells but also in an organism as a whole.

"But the ageing process has turned out to be complex and is now thought to depend on several different factors, the telomere being one of them. Research in this area remains intense," the institute said.

The trio’s work on telomerase, an enzyme made by little caps on the end of chromosomes, stimulated the development of new therapeutic strategies, it added.

Blackburn is with the University of California, San Francisco, Greider is with the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore and Szostak is at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

Medicine is traditionally the first of the Nobel prizes awarded each year. The prizes for achievement in science, literature and peace were first awarded in 1901 accordance with the will of dynamite inventor and businessman Alfred Nobel.
 

Date created : 2009-10-13

  • NOBEL PRIZE

    US duo, including first female economics laureate, takes Nobel

    Read more

  • NOBEL PRIZE

    Obama accepts Nobel Peace Prize as 'a call to action'

    Read more

COMMENT(S)