Hungarian biochemistry Katalin Kariko and the American researcher Drew Weissman were awarded this Monday, October 2, with the Nobel Prize in Medicine for his discoveries made on messenger RNA, a key finding for the development of vaccines applied during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Both scientists, according to the jury, were highlighted for “their discoveries about modifications of nucleic bases that allowed the development of effective vaccines against covid-19.” Their recognition broke the tradition of the Nobel Committee in Stockholm of rewarding works with decades of experience.
Katalin Karikó and Drew Weissman, researchers awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine.
“The winners contributed to the development at an unprecedented pace of a vaccine during one of the greatest threats to humanity’s health in modern times,” said the jury when presenting the renowned award, according to the AFP agency.
The technology awarded by the researchers dates back to 2005, although the first vaccines that implemented the use of messenger RNA were developed by Pfizer/BioNTech y Modern to combat the pandemic Covid-19.
Karikó and Weissman’s discovery has already earned them multiple recognitions, including the Princess of Asturias Award in 2021, an award they shared with other scientists. In addition, on this occasion they received a diploma, a gold medal and a check for almost a million dollars.
The Nobel Prizes are defined in a context of wars and coups d’état: a politically charged award
Last year, the Nobel Prize in Medicine was awarded to the Swede Svante Pääbo in recognition of the development of paleogenetics and his discoveries about human evolution. The biologist worked on the sequencing of the Neanderthal genome and discovered that humans share part of their genes with said extinct hominid.
Historically, the recognition of Medicine has been granted to professionals who have made discoveries of great impact, such as X-raysthe penicillinthe insulin or DNA, although it has also rewarded discoveries such as lobotomy and the insecticide DDT, which have fallen out of favor today.
Iran, Ukraine, climate change
The delivery of the Nobel Prizes will continue this Tuesday with that of Physicalwhich may have twisted graphene as the winner, the IceCube neutrino observatory in Antarctica or the development of high-density data storage in the field of spintronics.
For him Nobel Prize in Chemistry On Wednesday, the leader of Clarivate, a company specialized in scientific research, estimates that next-generation DNA sequencing can take the honors.
In turn, Lars Brostrom of the radio NRpointed out the United States-based biologist Omar Yaghi for his work on metal-organic networks and their porous properties that allow the absorption of dangerous gases.
The biochemist and the researcher were recognized for the development of messenger RNA, key work for vaccines applied against Covid-19.
Among the possible winners of the Nobel Prize in Literature which will be delivered on Thursday includes the dissident Russian writer Liudmila Ulítskaya, the Chinese avant-garde writer Can Xue and the famous and threatened British writer Salman Rushdie.
Likewise, the shadow of the war in Ukraine and divisions in the international community looms over the Peace Nobel, which should be announced this Friday in Oslo. In addition, some hope to reward Iranian women who have demonstrated against the mandatory use of the veil after the death of the young Mahsa Amini in 2022.
The award Nobel Prize in Economicsas the Bank of Sweden Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel is popularly known, will close the awards and recognition season on October 9.
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