Tag Archives: Chemistry

And the winner is…………….

So it’s award season in the scientific world………and it’s a biggie….The Nobel Prize. Every year since 1901 the Nobel Prize has been awarded for physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature and for peace, and from 1968 the Sveriges Riksbank Prize for Economic Sciences was also introduced. Winners take home a medal, a diploma and a big fat cheque for 10m Swedish Kronor (~£800,000)…oh and the small bonus of international recognition for your life’s hard work.

So this year the science gongs go to:

In layman’s terms that is;

  • Physiology of Medicine; understanding how the ends of DNA molecules are maintained (“just like the plastic tips on shoelaces”) which has important implications for cancer and ageing.
  • Physics; revolutionising modern communications by transmitting light along glass fibres over huge distances (it’s how we get our broadband) and the CCD is the eye of digital cameras (it’s in the camera in our mobile phones).
  • Chemistry; understanding the mechanism of how cells make proteins, which is absolutely fundamental to life.

Now, let’s not forget the other important prize of the year…..The Ig Nobel’s (the website alone is worth a look for the picture of Nobel Laureates wearing one of this year’s inventions, a bra/facemask, and a video about the first recorded case of a homosexual necrophiliac duck….yes really).

2009 Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony. Left to right; Wolfgang Ketterle, Elena Bodnar, Orhan Pamuk and Paul Krugman. Photo; Alexey Eliseev

2009 Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony. Left to right; Wolfgang Ketterle, Elena Bodnar, Orhan Pamuk and Paul Krugman. Photo; Alexey Eliseev

The “Igs” are awarded to scientists whose work “first makes people laugh, and then makes people think”. This year’s highlights include prizes for:

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