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2019 Medicine Nobel Prize (Relevant for GS Prelims & Mains Paper III; Science & Technology)

The 2019 Nobel Prize for Medicine or Physiology was jointly awarded Monday to two Americans and a British scientist, namely William G. Kaelin Jr, Gregg L. Semenza, Sir Peter J. Ratcliffe, for their discoveries of “how cells sense and adapt to oxygen availability”.

What is the importance of discovery?
Oxygen sensing is important to deal with a large number of diseases. The discoveries made by this year’s Nobel Prize laureates have fundamental importance for physiology and have paved the way for promising new strategies to fight anaemia, cancer and many other diseases.

The scientists’ work established the basis for understanding of how oxygen levels are sensed by cells – a discovery that is being explored by medical researchers seeking to develop treatments for various diseases that work by either activating or blocking the body’s oxygen-sensing machinery.

Also, since “oxygen is essential for life and is used by virtually all animal cells,” the work is central to how the body functions.

About 2019 Nobel prizes
It is the 110th prize in the category that has been awarded since 1901. The Karolinska Institutet, which awards the Nobel Prize for Medicine, said in a statement that the trio should share equally the 9 million kronor (918,000 US Dollars) cash award.

Events began Monday (7th October, 2019) with the award announcement for Physiology or Medicine. The Physics and Chemistry prizes will be announced on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively. This year’s double-header Literature Prizes will be awarded Thursday and the Peace Prize will be announced on Friday. The economics prize will be awarded in the last — on October 14.

Source: The Indian Express

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