Nobel Prize in Physics Awarded For "New Understanding Of Universe"

A nobel prize for Physiology or Medicine. image credit WIkipedia

U.S. researchers William Kaelin and Gregg Semenza and Britain's Peter Ratcliffe on Monday shared the Nobel Medicine Prize for discoveries on how cells sense and adapt to oxygen availability, the Nobel Assembly said.

It's been given out since 1901 and this week we'll find out who's won for 2019.

Members of the Nobel Committee for Physics sit in front of a screen displaying the names of the winners of the 2019 Nobel Prize in Physics at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm on October 8, 2019. "Their discoveries have forever changed our conceptions of the world".

In announcing the award in Sweden on Tuesday, the Nobel committee said that Peebles' work laid a foundation for the transformation of cosmology over the last 50 years and is the basis of our contemporary ideas about the universe.

"You should enter it for the love of the science", he said.

The Englishman discovered a universal mechanism for detecting and responding to low oxygen levels, known as hypoxia, that has since been found in all cells.

They were rewarded for their research into a molecular switch that determines how cells in the body reacted to fluctuating levels of oxygen.

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Andrew Murray of the University of Cambridge said the three laureates' discovery was fundamental to understanding how to combat diseases of the heart and lungs as well as numerous cancers.

"The satisfaction is really finding things out that will continue to be true for all time", he said.

"Low oxygen levels are a feature of some of the most life-threatening diseases", he said. "I congratulate them for spectacular pieces of work that opened the doors for many, many others to study facets of this transcriptional regulation in an important field". "Cells need a way to adjust to the amount of oxygen they have, while still doing their important jobs".

Much of that regulation, previous research established, is controlled by a hormone called erythropoietin (EPO), which boosts the concentration of oxygen-carrying red blood cells.

The Nobel Prizes in Physics, Chemistry, Literature, Economic Sciences and the Peace Prize are due to be announced throughout the week.

"Even after people have been telling you for 20 years or more that it's going to happen, no one expects it", he said in the interview.

Thomas Perlmann, a member of the Nobel Assembly, said he had reached Kaelin by phone early on Monday to tell him on the award. Then when he called the second number he finally managed to get through to the Nobel laureate, who we understand was very pleased to be named among this year's winners. The prize ceremony will take place on December 10, on the anniversary of Alfred Nobel's death.

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