Triple Tie for Nobel Medicine Prize

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The jury for the award giving body of Nobel Medicine Prize declared a triple tie for the said prestigious award. Three scientists have been conferred with the said award due to their ground breaking works on the immune system. Said the jury, the findings of these people paved a wider and clearer path for battling against cancer and other diseases.

Bruce Beutler of the United States, Jules Hoffman from Luxembourg, France and Canadian Ralph Steinman have been declared the new awardees for the Nobel Medicine Prize. Said the jury in an interview, “This year’s Nobel laureates have revolutionized our understanding of the immune system by discovering key principles for its activation.”

These three individuals were praised for their excellent breakthroughs in medicine, especially on their research in the body’s defense system. Their study was able to find out that the body makes use of signaling molecules which release antibodies and killer cells in order to frontline against the invading pathogens.

An understanding of this concept creates the path to the development of new medicines as well as an opportunity to have a more significant discussion about the immune system disorders like asthma, Crohn’s disease and rheumatoid arthritis. In these disorders, the body tends to eat its own cells and attack itself dangerously.

“Their work has opened up new avenues for the development of prevention and therapy against infections, cancer and inflammatory diseases,” according to the jury. “They have made possible the development of new methods for preventing and treating disease, for instance with improved vaccines against infections and in attempts to stimulate the immune system to attack tumors. These discoveries will also help us to understand why the immune system can attack our own tissues, thus providing clues for novel treatment of inflammatory diseases,” they added.

Half of the 10 million Swedish Kronors ($1.48 million) was shared by Beutler and Hoffman while the other half was won by Steinman. Beutler, 55 and Hoffman, 70 were able to discover receptor proteins which initially activates in the process of one’s immune response. Also known as the innate response, the said mechanism acts like a blunt dagger which seeks to block an assault to the body through inflammation.

On the other hand, Steinman, 68, worked on another research for the second and slower line of defense called the adaptive response. He discovered a new classification of cell which he called the dendritic cell. Steinman described the significance of this cell in activating a battalion of soldiers in the immune system in the form of T-cells.

T-cells are memory driven cells because they work faster and more powerful during the subsequent attacks of the same organism. Steinman also won the 2007 Lasker Prize for another work on the same subject of the immune system.

The three winners will receive their prize in an award ceremony to be held on December 10 in Stockholm, a commemorative event of the death of the founder of the Nobel Prize Foundation, Alfred Nobel.




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