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Brit, Japanese scientists share Nobel in medicine

Brit, Japanese scientists share Nobel in medicine
The Nobel Committee at Swedish Karolinska Institute in Stockholm named two scientists on Monday for the 2012 Nobel Prize in Medicine.

The 2012 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine went jointly to John B Gurdon and Shinya Yamanaka ‘for the discovery that mature cells can be reprogrammed to become pluripotent,’ reported Xinhua citing an institute statement.

‘Their findings have revolutionised our understanding of how cells and organisms develop,’ it added.

The Nobel Prize winners for physics will be announced on Tuesday, for chemistry Wednesday, literature Thursday, peace Friday and economics next Monday, the committee said.

The annual Nobel prizes are usually announced in October and are handed out on 10 December, on the death anniversary of Alfred Nobel, a Swedish industrialist and the inventor of dynamite, who turned philanthropist. The prizes have been awarded since 1901.

Between 1901 and 2011, 853 persons or organisations have won Nobel prizes and 199 people have been awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.     


Scientist John Gurdon was once told by his school teacher that his passion for science would be a ’sheer waste of time’. Among the clutter of Gurdon’s brightly lit Cambridge office sits a picture frame, displaying a small scrap of browning paper from an early school report, according to the Wellcome Trust, where he was a former Governor. The school report reads: ‘I believe he [Gurdon] has ideas about becoming a scientist...this is quite would be a sheer waste of time, both on his part and of those who have to teach him.’ That he should have so utterly disproved his school teacher’s assessment is testimony to his passion for science – and to an element of luck. ‘There’s a saying: “Luck favours the prepared mind”,’ he had said. ‘Ninety per cent of the time things don’t work, but when they do you have to seize the opportunity.’ In that fateful school report, his teacher also wrote the young John ‘will not listen, but will insist on doing his work in his own way’. How fortunate.
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