Just noticed that the Nobel Prize for Medicine have been anounced:

Two stem-cell researchers have won this year's Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their groundbreaking work in cellular reprogramming, a technique that unleashed a wave of advances in biology, from cloning to the possible treatment of diseases using a patient's own cells.
The two winners are John Gurdon of the UK and Shinya Yamanaka of Japan.

This was announced early this morning, and A diary by Kossack jmls qkw reported it then.  But for those who missed it, as did I, here's a bit about the research these new Nobelists conducted.

Dr. Gurdon, back in 1962, was the pionner:

In 1962, Dr. Gurdon, while trying to understand how simple, undifferentiated cells became all the other cells in the body, performed an audacious experiment. He removed the DNA from a frog egg and replaced it with the DNA of a mature cell taken from a tadpole. The egg developed into a healthy, cloned tadpole. (The same approach would be used to create Dolly the sheep in 1996.)
and Dr. Yamanaka followed Dr. Gurdon's lead some 45 year later...
Dr. Yamanaka... demonstrated that by adding just four genes to a mature cell, he could turn it into an embryonic-like state. He first achieved this with mouse cells, and in 2007 he reported the same result for human cells. He transformed those cells, in turn, into heart, nerve and other human tissue in a lab...

"Without [Dr. Gurdon's] work we would never have started this risky project 12 years ago," said Dr. Yamanaka

Now others are using their work...
Last week, Japanese scientists said they used the Yamanaka technique to make mouse eggs.
And perhaps someday in the not-all-that-distant-future, stem-cell technology will be used to save and extend millions of human lives.

Congratulations to them both!

Originally posted to jpmassar on Mon Oct 08, 2012 at 05:34 PM PDT.

Also republished by SciTech.

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