All eyes are on the Nobel prizes in science next week. Here’s what to expect
While it’s hard to predict who will win a Nobel Prize – the shortlist is secret, as are the nominators, and the documents revealing the juicy details are sealed in public view for 50 years, here are some worthy nominees. Nobel Prize winners and the life-changing discoveries they made.
“Convinced of the promise of mRNA-based therapies despite widespread skepticism, they created a technology that is not only vital in the fight against coronavirus today, but which also holds great promise for future vaccines and treatments for a wide range of diseases including HIV, cancer, autoimmune diseases. and genetic diseases, ”said the Breakthrough Prize in its announcement.
To complicate matters for the Nobel Prize selection committee, under the rules established by Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel in 1895, a Nobel Prize winner can only honor a maximum of three people, which becomes increasingly difficult given the collaborative nature of most scientific research.
The Breakthrough Prize also recognized Shankar Balasubramanian, David Klenerman and Pascal Mayer for their work on next-generation DNA sequencing technologies.
Before their inventions, resequencing a complete human genome could take several months and cost millions of dollars. Today, it can be completed in 24 hours at a cost of around $ 600, the Breakthrough Prize Foundation said. It has transformed many fields, including biology, ecology, paleoarchaeology, forensics, and personalized medicine.
“The Nobel Prize usually rewards people who contributed to discoveries 20, 30, 40 years ago. In the 80s and 90s there weren’t many women in universities – heads of departments, leaders in their domain – – at that time “, Pendlebury noted. “This has changed dramatically over the past 40 years.”
There is no shortage of potential scientific laureates. Jocelyn Bell Burnell, a physicist from Northern Ireland, is often mentioned as a potential winner in physics for her work on the discovery of pulsars, one of the major astronomical discoveries of the 20th century. In medicine, American geneticist Mary-Claire King discovered BRCA mutations and their link to breast cancer risk in 1990, confirming a hereditary risk of cancer.
The Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology will be announced Monday, October 4, physics on Tuesday and chemistry on Wednesday, followed by the Nobel Prize in Literature on Thursday, the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday and the Prize in Economics next Monday. .