3 scientists share Nobel Prize for cell research

Predictions about possible winners of Nobel Prize are notoriously difficult as the prize-awarding institutions keep the names of the nominees secret for 50 years. — Reuters  File

Kaelin, Ratcliffe and Semenza win 2019 Nobel Medicine Prize

According to the official Nobel Prize website, between 1901 and 2018, the Prizes have been awarded 590 times, the recipients during this period being 908 Laureates and 27 organisations. "Those cells, if they are going to survive, need to find a way to adapt to that level of oxygen", he said.

This year's Nobel in Literature was cancelled after Jean-Claude Arnault, a French photographer and the husband of a member of the Swedish Academy, was convicted of rape.

Semenza has gone on to author more than 400 research articles and book chapters.

The committee said that Mr Semenza, Mr Ratcliffe and Mr Kaelin found "the molecular switch for how to adapt" when oxygen levels in the body vary, noting that the most fundamental job for cells is to convert oxygen to food and that cells and tissues constantly experience changes in oxygen availability.

The trio in 2016 won the Laskar Prize, another distinguished award.

Last year, American James Allison and Japanese Tasuku Honjo won the medicine prize for discoveries about how to harness the immune system in cancer therapies. They established the basis for our understanding of how oxygen levels affect cellular metabolism and physiological function. That discovery suggests controlling the amount of the protein could help fight the disease.

Kaelin, who also a senior physician at Brigham and Women's Hospital, was at home alone when the call came about the prize announcement. "If, even then, the prize can not be awarded, the amount shall be added to the Foundation's restricted funds".

But the Nobel Prize committee realized they didn't have a number for Kaelin and had to wake up his sister by phone to get a hold of it. This year there is a double-header for the Nobel Literature Prize - one each for 2018 and 2019 - which will be awarded Thursday.

Nobel decreed that the bulk of his estate should be invested in "safe securities" and, as a result, about 31.5 million Swedish kronor, equivalent today to 1.7 billion kronor, were used to create the Nobel Foundation.

One can not nominate himself/herself for a Nobel Prize. The income from the investments was to be "distributed annually in the form of prizes to those who during the preceding year have conferred the greatest benefit to mankind".

Good morning! I'm Emma Löfgren and I will be your slightly confused host as I guide you through the science behind this week's Nobel Prizes.

This year, the Nobel Prizes are being announced between October 7 and 14, in the following order: October 7 (Medicine), October 8 (Physics), October 9 (Chemistry), October 10 (Literature), October 11 (Peace), October 14 (Economics).

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