Nobel Prize Winners in Biology and What they Discovered

Nobel Prize Winners in Biology and What they Discovered

Nobel Prize Winners in Biology What they Discovered

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Svante Pääbo

Svante Pääbo for his discoveries about human evolution and the genomes of extinct hominins Humanity has always been fascinated by its origins. How do we relate to those who came before us and where do we come from? What distinguishes us, Homo sapiens, from other hominins?

Svante Pääbo did something that seemed impossible with his groundbreaking research: sequencing the Neanderthal’s genome, a distant relative of modern humans. Additionally, he made the sensational discovery of Denisova, a previously unknown hominin. Importantly, Pääbo also discovered that around 70,000 years ago, when these extinct hominins left Africa, gene transfer occurred to Homo sapiens. This ancient transfer of genes to modern humans has physiological implications for us today, such as influencing our immune system’s response to infections.

A brand-new field of study emerged from Pääbo’s seminal research; paleogenomics. His discoveries provide the foundation for investigating what makes us unique as humans by revealing genetic differences that distinguish all living humans from extinct hominins.

David Julius and Ardem Patapoutian

For their discoveries of temperature and touch receptors, David Julius and Ardem Patapoutian are credited. Our capacity to sense heat, cold, and touch is necessary for survival and underpins our interaction with the environment. These sensations are taken for granted in our day-to-day lives; however, how are nerve impulses initiated so that temperature and pressure can be perceived? The winners of the Nobel Prize this year have provided an answer to this question.

David Julius found a heat-responsive sensor in the skin’s nerve endings using capsaicin, a pungent compound from chili peppers that causes a burning sensation. Ardem Patapoutian discovered a novel class of sensors in the skin and internal organs that respond to mechanical stimuli by using pressure-sensitive cells.

Harvey J. Alter, Michael Houghton, and Charles M. Rice

For discovering the hepatitis C virus, Harvey J. Alter, Michael Houghton, and Charles M. Rice were given this year’s Nobel Prize. Summary: These three scientists have made a significant contribution to the fight against blood-borne hepatitis, a major global health issue that can lead to cirrhosis and liver cancer in people all over the world.

Charles M. Rice, Michael Houghton, and Harvey J. Alter made significant discoveries that led to the discovery of the Hepatitis C virus, a novel virus. Although the majority of blood-borne hepatitis cases remained undiagnosed prior to their work, the discovery of the Hepatitis A and B viruses had been significant progress

William G. Kaelin Jr., Sir Peter J. Ratcliffe, and Gregg L. Semenza

For their discoveries regarding how cells sense and adapt to oxygen availability, William G. Kaelin Jr., Sir Peter J. Ratcliffe, and Gregg L. Semenza are to be thanked. SUMMARY Animals require oxygen for the conversion of food into useful energy. Although the fundamental significance of oxygen has been recognized for centuries, the mechanisms by which cells adapt to variations in oxygen levels remain a mystery.

Gregg L. Semenza, Sir Peter J. Ratcliffe, and William G. Kaelin Jr. discovered that cells can sense and adjust to changes in the availability of oxygen. They discovered the molecular machinery that controls the activity of genes in response to different oxygen levels.

Tasuku Honjo and James P. Allison

For their discovery of cancer therapy through inhibition of negative immune regulation, thanks to Tasuku Honjo and James P. Allison. Cancer is one of humanity’s greatest health challenges and kills millions of people every year. This year’s Nobel Laureates have established a brand-new principle for cancer therapy by encouraging our immune system’s inherent ability to attack tumor cells.

James P. Allison investigated a well-known protein that inhibits the immune system. He realized that when the brake was released, our immune system cells could attack tumors. After that, he turned this idea into a novel strategy for treating patients.

Parallel to this, Tasuku Honjo discovered a protein on immune cells and determined, after careful investigation, that it also functions as a brake, albeit through a different mechanism. In the fight against cancer, treatments based on his discovery proved to be remarkably effective.

Allison and Honjo demonstrated the various approaches that can be utilized in the treatment of cancer by inhibiting the immune system’s brakes. The two Laureates’ seminal discoveries are a turning point in the fight against cancer.

Michael Rosbash, Michael W. Young, and Jeffrey C. Hall

For their discoveries of molecular mechanisms controlling the circadian rhythm, Michael Rosbash, Michael W. Young, and Jeffrey C. Hall are credited. Life on Earth is adapted to the planet’s rotation. We have known for a long time that all living things, including humans, have a biological clock inside them that helps them anticipate and adjust to the daily rhythm. But how exactly does this clock work? Our biological clock’s inner workings were revealed by Michael Rosbash, Michael W. Young, and Jeffrey C. Hall. Their findings shed light on the mechanisms by which humans, animals, and plants synchronize their biological rhythms with the rotation of the Earth.

This year’s Nobel laureates isolated a gene that regulates the normal biological rhythm using fruit flies as a model. They demonstrated that this gene is responsible for the expression of a protein that builds up in the cell at night and breaks down during the day. They then discovered additional protein components of this machinery, revealing the mechanism that controls the cell’s self-sustaining clockwork. We now know that biological clocks work the same way in the cells of humans and other multicellular organisms.

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