Shinya Yamanaka of Japan and John B. Gurdon of Britain won the Nobel Medicine Prize on Monday for their groundbreaking work on stem cells, the jury said.
The pair were honoured "for the discovery that mature cells can be reprogrammed to become pluripotent," it said. The two discovered "that mature, specialised cells can be reprogrammed to become immature cells capable of developing into all tissues of the body," it said. By reprogramming human cells, "scientists have created new opportunities to study diseases and develop methods for diagnosis and therapy," the Nobel committee said.
Gurdon is currently at the Gurdon Institute in Cambridge, while Yamanaka is a professor at Kyoto University in Japan. Because of the economic crisis, the Nobel Foundation has slashed the prize sum to eight million Swedish kronor ($1.2 million, 930,000 euros) per award, down from the 10 million kronor awarded since 2001.
Last year, the honour went to Bruce Beutler of the United States, Jules Hoffmann of Luxembourg and Ralph Steinman of Canada, for their groundbreaking work on the immune system.
This year's laureates will receive their prize at a formal ceremony in Stockholm on December 10, the anniversary of prize founder Alfred Nobel's death in 1896.
This Monday, members of the seminal metal band X Japan were in Odaiba rubbing shoulders with the likes of Brad Pitt, Lady Gaga and AKB48′s Yuko Oshima. The catch? They were all made out of wax. (Japan Times )
The parents of a nightclub worker killed in an arson fire three years ago filed a suit in the Nagoya District Court on Monday seeking damages against top members of the Yamaguchi-gumi organized crime group. (Tokyo Reporter )
Kyodo News said Monday that it has dismissed Satoshi Kondo, 51, deputy chief of its general administration bureau and former personnel affairs division chief, for meeting individually with a female student searching for a job and doing an inappropriate act.
(Jiji Press )