Durham University scientists comment on Nobel Prizes
(10 October 2012)
Durham University experts have commented on the "exciting" award of this year's Nobel prize.
Commenting on the Nobel Prize for Medicine or Physiology, Dr Adam Benham, Senior Lecturer in the School of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, said: “This is an exciting and deserved award for work that has transformed our understanding of how cells work. The ability to change one cell type into another has great potential to benefit human health through the application of regenerative medicine.”
Referring to the Nobel Prize in Physics, Professor Charles Adams, Department of Physics, said: “This is very exciting! Schrodinger thought we had about as much chance of seeing individual atoms and single photons as we have of seeing a dinosaur. Haroche and Wineland showed that we can see and control single atoms and single photons, and what happens when they interact with the classical world, thereby addressing the famous Schrodinger's cat paradox.
“Their work lays the foundation for 21st technologies where we begin to exploit the fundamental quantum nature of our world.”
The Nobel Prize for Medicine or Physiology has been won by Sir John B. Gurdon (UK) and Shinya Yamanaka (Japan) for the discovery that mature cells can be reprogrammed to become pluripotent.
The winners of the Nobel Prize in Physics are Serge Haroche (France) and David J. Wineland (USA) for their work in quantum optics.
Commenting on the Nobel Prize for Chemistry, Dr Paul Chazot, Senior Lecturer in the School of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, said: "Professors Bob Lefkowitz and Brian Kobilka richly deserve the Nobel Prize for their many seminal studies over the last four decades from identifying, purifying and cloning to structural determination of the prototype GPCR, namely the beta-2 adrenergic receptor. GPCRs represent the major family of receptor targets for drugs, for example, to treat allergies, Parkinson's Disease, high blood pressure, and acute severe pain."