Monday, October 7, 2019

2019 Nobel Prize: Physicology or Medicine

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Edward Hessler

Today the first Nobel Prize of 2019 was announced: the Physiology or Medicine prize goes to three scientists who decoded how cells sense and respond to oxygen by switching genes on and off.

They are William Kaelin (cancer researcher), Peter Ratcliffe (physician-scientist) and Gregg Semenza (geneticist).  The trio also won the Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award in 2016. This link includes a video about the awardees.  

Among the applications of their discovery is a better understanding of how the body reacts when oxygen levels drop owing to exercise or stroke, and efforts to manipulate the response to slow the growth of oxygen-hungry cancer tumours.

Here is a short summary from the British journal Nature.

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