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Live Blog: 2013 Nobel Prize announcements

The Local · 7 Oct 2013, 12:27

Published: 07 Oct 2013 12:27 GMT+02:00

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Monday, October 7th: Physiology or Medicine Prize

Oliver Gee, 14.49pm

I'm shutting down this blog for today, but read my whole interview with Göran Hansson here. He used a nice metaphor about Stockholm transport to explain the winning discovery, explained the practicality of the research for the man on the street, and told us why so few women have won the award.

Thanks for reading, and tune in again tomorrow for the Nobel Prize in Physics, where editor David Landes will be on the scene and at the helm. Cheers.

Oliver Gee, 12.22pm

Just spoke to Göran Hansson, Secretary General of the Nobel Committee at Karolinska Institutet. He explained the win in simple English, explaining that the prize was awarded for the expansion of scientific knowledge rather than the practical use of the discovery.

More soon, I'm heading back to the office.

Ann Törnkvist, 11:52

"It was in one way expected, as they recently got the world's second most prestigious prize, the Lasker Prize," Swedish science journalist Karin Bojs told Sveriges Television (SVT) upon news of the announcement.

Oliver Gee, 11.51am

Announcement over, time to go and try and snag an interview or two and to try and get to the bottom of all this.

Oliver Gee, 11.49am

Straight from the horses mouth:

"Each cell is a factory that produces and exports molecules. For instance, insulin is manufactured and released into the blood and chemical signals called neurotransmitters are sent from one nerve cell to another. These molecules are transported around the cell in small packages called vesicles. The three Nobel Laureates have discovered the molecular principles that govern how this cargo is delivered to the right place at the right time in the cell."

Pretty straight forward, really.

Oliver Gee, 11.45am

What did the prize winners say when they were informed of their win? Göran Hansson responds: "I've spoken to Rothman and Schekman and they were both delighted... they're both looking forward to coming to Stockholm."

Oliver Gee, 11.43am

Background on the winners:

James E. Rothman, born in 1950 in Massachusetts, in the US, studied at Harvard Medical School and was a postdoctoral fellow at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Started his cell research at Stanford.

Randy W. Schekman, born in 1948 in Minnesota, in the US, studied at Stanford and the University of California. Currently the professor in Molecular and Cell Biology at University of California at Berkeley.

Thomas C. Sudhof: Born in 1955 in Göttingen, Germany, her studied at Georg-August-Universität in Germany and later at the University of Texas. Later he became an investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and more recently has been appointed at Stanford University.

Oliver Gee, 11.40am

A few perplexed faces here, though one man started clapping. Allow us to break this all down as the jury motivates their choice.

Oliver Gee, 11.35am

WINNERS ANNOUNCED: Göran Hansson, Secretary General of the Nobel Committee at Karolinska Institutet announced the winners: James Rothman, Randy Schekman, and Thomas Sudhof for their discoveries of machinery regulating vesicle traffic, a major transport system in our cells.

Oliver Gee, 11.25am

Here, why not watch what I am watching:

Oliver Gee, 11.23am

I am here at the Karolinska Institute. In a crowd of journalists and spectators. Cameras and microphones. We're all just waiting now... a hush has passed over the crowd as we wait for the jury to come and share the news.

Ann Törnkvist, 10:47

Another tidbit. It's not enough to be an eminent researcher, you have to be what head of the jury Göran K. Hansson calls a "discoverer" - and not only that... the discovery has to be paradigm-shifting. In other words, not something that simply nudges science along, but something that either unlocks new potential or has the scientific community reexamining that area in a completely new light.

Story continues below…

Ann Törnkvist, 10:35am

Some facts about the prize: The average age of medicine laureates is 57, but Frederick G. Banting was 32 when he won in 1923 for discovering insulin. Peyton Rous, meanwhile, was the oldest laureate so far. At age 87, he was was recognized in 1966 for his discovery of tumour-inducing viruses.

Ann Törnkvist, 10:12am

Last year's medicine prize went to John B. Gurdon and Shinya Yamanaka for research into stem cells for the discovery that mature cells can be reprogrammed to become pluripoint.

Oliver Gee, 10.01am

Hello readers and welcome to The Local's Live Blog of the Nobel Prize announcements for 2013. Here, we will report on all the announcements live from the scene.

Today, we're kicking off with "Physiology or Medicine" - a prize which has been given by the Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet to 201 people since 1901.

But what (or who) is Nobel, and what are the prizes all about? Read more about Swedish scientist Alfred Nobel himself, his invention of gunpowder, and how his last will and testament led to the modern Nobel Prizes.

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