Nobel Prize in Medicine for German cell researchers
This year's Nobel Prize in Medicine is awarded to researchers James E. Schekman and Thomas C. Südhof, who was born in Germany. They receive this for basic knowledge of the so-called vesicle transport, which is responsible for transport processes within the cells. These essential transport mechanisms, if they have defects, are the basis of diabetes, tetanus and many other diseases. This was announced by the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm.
The 58-year-old Südhof comes from Göttingen and also studied there at the Georg August University. After completing his dissertation, he moved to the USA in 1983. He has been a professor of molecular and cellular physiology, psychiatry and neurology at the elite Stanford University in California since 2008. His colleagues Rothman and Schekman were both born in the United States.
Without vesicles, cells would sink into chaos. The mechanism discovered by scientists regulates the so-called vesicle transport, which is an important transport system in human cells.
Inside the cells, substances are mostly packaged and passed on in tiny vesicles. The chair of the Nobel Committee, Juleen Zierath, writes: "Without this wonderfully precise organization, the cell would sink into chaos. A defective vesicle transport system occurs in a number of diseases". The transport system has an important function in nerve conduction and in the hormone system or in immune diseases.
Tetanus affects vesicle transport "Tetanus is a disease that affects this vesicle transport," said Jan-Inge Henter of the Nobel Jury. His colleague Göran Hansson added: "It (the discovery) has not led to medication so far, but has led to diagnoses." Briton John Gurdon and Japanese Shinya Yamanaka received an award last year for their work on rejuvenating adult cells. Further awards will follow on Tuesday in the field of physics and on Wednesday for chemistry.
Ceremonial presentation The winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature will be announced on Thursday and the Nobel Peace Prize winner on Friday. The Nobel Laureate in Economics will be selected on Monday next week. According to tradition, the ceremony will take place on December 10, the anniversary of the death of the price donor Alfred Nobel. The Nobel Prize is the highest honor for many scientists. In the field of medicine it is worth 920,000 euros (eight million Swedish kronor). (fr)
Image: Jonas Bergsten, Wikipedia