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2020 Nobel season opens with medicine prize

Perhaps appropriately, given the present pandemic, the medicine prize kicks off the Nobel season—seen is a bust of prize founder and Swedish inventor and scholar Alfred Nobel

Breakthroughs within the area of well being can be honoured Monday when the 2020 Nobel season kicks off with the medicine prize, because the world battles the worst pandemic in a century.

The medicine prize announcement, due at 11:30 am (0930 GMT), can be adopted by the physics prize on Tuesday and chemistry on Wednesday.

UPDATE: three win Nobel medicine award for locating hepatitis C virus

The most closely-watched awards—for literature and peace—will observe on Thursday and Friday, whereas the economics prize wraps issues up on Monday, October 12.

This yr, the coronavirus pandemic has put the worldwide highlight on analysis.

“The pandemic is a big crisis for mankind, but it illustrates how important science is,” Nobel Foundation head Lars Heikensten mentioned.

No prizes are anticipated to be awarded this yr for work straight linked to the brand new coronavirus, as Nobel prizewinning analysis normally takes a few years to be verified.

The prize-awarding committees are “not in any way influenced by what is happening in the world at the time,” Erling Norrby, the previous everlasting secretary of the Swedish Royal Academy of Sciences which awards the science prizes, advised AFP.

“It takes time before a prize can mature, I would say at least 10 years before you can fully understand the impact” of a discovery, Norrby, himself a virologist, mentioned.

The work of the assorted prize committees is shrouded in secrecy and the names of the nominees aren’t disclosed for 50 years, resulting in rampant hypothesis.

T-cells, breast most cancers, scissors?

Swedish public radio SR and the nation’s largest each day Dagens Nyheter each advised Monday’s medicine prize may go to French-born Australian Jacques Miller and Max Cooper of the US for his or her discoveries of T-cells and B-cells within the 1960s, which led to breakthroughs in most cancers and virus analysis.

The pair gained the celebrated Lasker Prize within the US final yr.

Or the nod may go to Lebanese-born American geneticist Huda Zoghbi for her discovery of a genetic mutation that results in the mind dysfunction Rett Syndrome, each SR and Dagens Nyheter mentioned.

Dagens Nyheter additionally tipped American Mary-Claire King, who found the BRCA1 gene chargeable for a hereditary type of breast most cancers, and researchers who labored on a remedy for Hepatitis C, Ralf Bartenschlager of Germany and Americans Charles Rice and Michael Sofia—a trio additionally awarded the Lasker Prize in 2016.

Two names talked about steadily are Emmanuelle Charpentier of France and Jennifer Doudna of the US, for his or her gene-editing method referred to as the CRISPR-Cas9 DNA snipping software, a sort of genetic “scissors” used to chop out a mutated gene in a human embryo and change it with a corrected model.

Chinese-born American Feng Zhang additionally claims to have found the method, which could possibly be eligible for each the medicine and chemistry prize.

Others additionally talked about embody immunologists Marc Feldmann of Australia and Indian-born British researcher Ravinder Maini, for work on rheumatoid arthritis, and American oncologist Dennis Slamon for analysis on breast most cancers and the drug therapy Herceptin.

For Tuesday’s physics prize, astrophysicists Shep Doeleman of the US and Germany’s Heino Falcke may win for work that led to the primary straight noticed picture of a black gap in April 2019, in line with Dagens Nyheter.

SR in the meantime noticed it going to American mathematician Peter Shor who paved the best way for immediately’s analysis on quantum computer systems, or France’s Alain Aspect for his work on quantum entanglement.

For chemistry, SR predicted the honour may go to Christopher Murray for his work on semiconductor nanocrystals or to US gene sequencing pioneer Leroy Hood, whereas Dagens Nyheter tipped Americans Harry Gray, Richard Holm and Stephen Lippard for work within the area of bioinorganic chemistry.

Greta for peace prize?

Nobel watchers say the peace prize may go to press freedom champions resembling Reporters Without Borders or the Committee to Protect Journalists, local weather activists resembling Greta Thunberg and the Fridays for Future motion, or an organisation just like the World Food Programme, the World Health Organization or Transparency International.

Stockholm’s literary circles noticed Canadian poet Anne Carson and American-Caribbean author Jamaica Kincaid as sturdy candidates for the literature prize, whereas Canada’s Margaret Atwood and US authors Marilynn Robinson and Joyce Carol Oates have made Nobel buzz for years.

Kenya’s Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Hungary’s Peter Nadas, Albania’s Ismael Kadare, Korea’s Ko Un and France’s Michel Houellebecq are additionally steadily talked about, whereas British novelist Hilary Mantel is a current addition.


Nobel Prize in Physics to be awarded


© 2020 AFP

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