Two Americans and an English knight have won this year’s Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their discovery of how cells detect how much oxygen is available to them and the mechanism that regulates how they adapt to changes in oxygen levels.
While the scientific community recognized the importance of oxygen for animal cells a very long time ago, what actually happens at the cellular level took a great deal of effort to uncover. William G. Kaelin Jr., Sir Peter J. Ratcliffe, and Gregg L. Semenzafor provided the explanation by discovering three different aspects of the oxygen regulatory process in cells. Together, they were able to describe the entirety of the molecular process that controls how a set of genes respond to different oxygen concentrations. Their discoveries have cleared the way for other researchers to develop drugs and other therapies that may be effective in treating cancer, anemia, and other diseases.
Here’s the press conference from earlier today announcing the winners, including a brief explanation of the science behind the prize:
Via: The Nobel Prize